When a survey is commissioned by a technology vendor with an obvious vested interest in a certain outcome -- in this case, Mformation Technologies, an Edison, N. J., mobile device management vendor (that includes mobile security)-- it tends to make that outcome seem a bit, um, self-serving -- in this case, that CIOs are worried about the security of their mobile technology.
But that happens to be in line with the results of InformationWeek's most recent security survey. CIOs are worried about the security implications of the increasing use of mobile technology, and a lot of them are looking to do something about it.
Mformation recently sponsored a survey of 200 CIOs and telecommunications directors at large companies across the United States and Europe. According to Mformation, more than half (55%) of the CIOs say that technical product data, sales data, and customer data are accessible on their companies' mobile devices, and nearly one third say company financial data is accessible there as well. According to 86% of the U.S. CIOs, solving the data security issues involving mobile devices is one of the most important issues they face in the next few years.
InformationWeek Research's 10th annual Global Information Security Survey 2007, published earlier this year, received input from 1,101 business technology and security managers in the United States. Of those, 19% say defending against the loss or theft of mobile devices containing corporate data is one of their top three security priorities for this year, and 27% say securing remote access is a key tactical security priority over the next 12 months.
That paranoia doesn't come out thin air (so to speak): Seven percent of U.S. respondents to InformationWeek's survey admit that a security breach involving mobile applications occurred in the last year.
So Mformation's logical conclusion -- that CIOs should look at the company's mobile security technology -- isn't coming out of thin air, either. And I'm sure there are other vendors of mobile security technology worth looking at as well. And a lot of smart people at universities and research labs worth talking to about it.
The point is this: Just because you think you're paranoid about your company's mobile technology strategy, that doesn't mean your colleagues don't feel exactly the same way. So don't sit there being paranoid, do something about it.