Mobile users afraid their data is not safe

Creative Commons photo of phone courtesy of TJ scene's Flickr photostreamOracle published survey results today showing user perceptions of their security when using a smartphone.

The paper, “Opportunity Calling:
The Future of Mobile Communications – Take Two”
, provided some interesting results, mainly that smartphone users have a healthy skepticism about the security of these devices.

69% of users surveyed were using a smartphone. That is an enormous number, even compared with a couple of years ago.

The most interesting part is that only 32% of users believe that information stored on or transmitted from their phones is secure.

Considering today is the last day of National Cyber Security Awareness Month it is extremely nice to hear that the message about data security and mobility is reaching the public.

Many organizations are deploying centralized management solutions like Sophos Mobile Control that can enforce password complexity and remotely wipe lost or stolen devices.

More than 50% of respondents also said they see their smartphone replacing their GPS, MP3 player and camera within the next 5 years.

This introduces a much more challenging problem for IT administrators as we must respect that users expect to have a mix of personal and professional data on their phone.

While you might consider blocking these functions, is that really fair? You are expecting your employees to mix your work with their lives using these devices on evenings and weekends…

The good news is that our users understand their information is at risk, so if we can provide safety through control the user can be our partner in safety.

It is important to establish clear policies for the personal use of corporate devices, or corporate use of personal devices.

These policies can explain the mutual benefits that security and control of smartphones provide to all parties involved.

Creative Commons photo of a phone dial courtesy of TJ Scene’s Flickr photostream.