Centrify Study Shows Employees Are Still Not Protecting Their Mobile Devices

By   ISBuzz Team
Writer , Information Security Buzz | Apr 28, 2014 01:14 am PST

Centrify Corporation, the leader in unified identity services across data center, cloud and mobile, have announced the results of an industry study conducted by Osterman Research which revealed that 15 percent of enterprise employee survey respondents believe they have “none to minimal” responsibility to protect corporate data stored on their personal devices.  The study also reported that 10 percent of respondents still do not have a password, PIN or other security measure enabled on the mobile device they use for work purposes, potentially exposing organizations to grave risk.

The survey also found that only 44 percent of respondents are hyper-aware of their mobile security, thinking about their responsibility to protect the corporate information on their personal device on a daily basis.  Nearly 10 percent of respondents think about their responsibility only a few times a year, identifying a real need for secure solutions that keep personal and corporate devices safe.

The Centrify survey was developed to assess the security sentiment and behavior of enterprise employees that use personal smartphones as their primary mobile device for work.  It takes into account the types of applications used on their device, the amount they use it for work purposes, and how often that data is accessed.  The survey was completed in March with more than 500 participants that included employees of North American enterprise organizations with more than 1,000 employees.

“The results show that even employees of large multinational corporations, who are consistently warned of the dangers to their data directly from their IT department, are not keeping security top of mind,” said Michael Osterman, Principal, Osterman Research.  “It is clear organizations need to continue to educate employees on the dangers and risks of mobile security but also look to solutions that safeguard the devices and applications which these employees have access to.”

As Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) becomes the standard rather than the exception, enterprise employees are mixing work with play, and are storing more corporate data among their personal information.  While they might use best practices at work, they are now taking sensitive data with them into other aspects of their lives.  This further reinforces the need to provide a solution that secures both the device and applications.

Survey results further showcased the need to protect sensitive corporate data and the inherent risks of BYOD in the enterprise:

– On average, 45 percent of the enterprise employees surveyed have more than six third-party applications installed on their personal device.
– More than 15 percent have had their personal account or password compromised.
– 43 percent have accessed sensitive corporate data on their personal device while on an unsecured public network, such as the airport or a coffee shop.
– Upon losing an unprotected mobile device, 32 percent of respondents would rather contract the flu or go on vacation with their mother-in-law than tell their boss.

“As these results demonstrate, enterprise employees still need to be aware of security threats and best practices,” said Centrify CEO, Tom Kemp.  “We have made it our mission to bring security awareness to the enterprise, but there is always room for more education and innovation.  As the survey shows, corporate employees are now leveraging applications on their devices to get their jobs done.  As a result, there is greater need than ever for unified security identity across multiple devices and platforms.”

About Centrify
Centrify provides Unified Identity Services across data center, cloud and mobile environments that results in single sign-on (SSO) for users and a simplified identity infrastructure for IT.  Centrify’s integrated identity management software and cloud-based Identity-as-a-Service (IDaaS) solutions reduce costs and increase business agility and security by leveraging an organization’s existing identity infrastructure to enable single sign-on, role-based access control, privileged identity management, auditing and compliance.  Centrify customers can typically reduce their total cost of identity management and compliance by more than 50 percent.  Centrify is used by more than 5,000 customers worldwide, including approximately half of the Fortune 50 and more than 60 Federal agencies.  For more information about Centrify and its solutions, visit www.centrify.com.