The growing adoption of mobile devices in business, boosted by trends such as Bring Your Own Device doesn’t come without a risk. Devices, holding your companies’ deepest secrets, get lost or stolen. It happened to NASA a couple years ago when a laptop holding an unencrypted list of employee contacts got stolen (read it here). It happed to a hospital in Connecticut that lost 9000 patient records (read it here). 

The statistic from Kensington’s study state how a laptop is stolen every 53 seconds.(1) In other words: every 53 seconds, a company’s confidential data is at risk to be stolen and abused. It’s no secret, if there’s anything keeping IT, security and risk managers awake at night, it’s the fear losing confidential data. Securely managing laptops, tablets or smartphones is on top of the priority list today.

A recent study by Kensington reveals the real costs associated with the loss or theft of mobile devices (laptops, tablets, and smartphones). According to Kensington, the total cost is far greater than the cost of the device itself. With the loss of a single laptop, the average loss – meaning the true cost exceeds $49,000. There is obviously the cost of the device and the loss of employee productivity. Secondly, there is a potential loss of intellectual property. Finally, data breaches can come with legal implications and costs. For SMBs, this kind of loss could mean a grave financial impact. The cost of recovering from a single corporate data breach has nearly doubled from 2005, going from $3.3 million to $7.2 million in 2010. (1)

Other startling statistics you can see in the infographic below:

mobile device security infographic

 

WHAT ARE BUSINESSES DOING TODAY TO PROTECT THEMSELVES FROM DATA BREACHES?

There are a couple of things any business should do to prevent loss or theft of devices, as well as reduce the impact in case devices are stolen or lost:

  1. Setup a strong security policy and awareness of employees. A well-implemented security policy reduces laptop theft by 85 percent.(1)
  2. Avoid storage of confidential data locally on the device. Without local data, there can’t be a data theft. And in case you have any local data on the device, then make sure to encrypt it and to have the right tools at hand to wipe devices remotely (e.g. remotely wipe and block a local client).
  3. Authentication and authorization help protect unauthorized access to mobile devices and the data on them. Ideally, IT organizations should implement two-factor authentication on mobile devices. Two-factor authentication involves, two factors: typically something you know, like a password or personal identity number (PIN) code, and something you have, like a hardware token that might be a synchronized password generator. The two-factor approach is a little more complex, but it’s a lot more secure.(2)

HOW CAN AWINGU HELP?

Awingu provides a secure access to a companies’ applications and files via the browser. There is no local data, so it can’t get stolen together with the device. Awingu significantly reduces the risks and impacts of device and data theft. Even the loss of productivity can be minimized, as the end-user will be able to continue working securely with all his apps and files from another device (e.g. a personal laptop, a hotel desktop, a replacement device…).

Here are 5 important points Awingu covers regarding the mobile device security:

  1. Awingu provides access to company apps & data from any device via any browser
  2. There is no local data, everything is available in the secured sandbox of the browser. As such, what isn’t there, can’t be stolen.
  3. Awingu can be setup with a strong authentication. This is a fully secure login process inside Awingu. Even with the access to the device, not everyone would be able to access Awingu.
  4. An administrator has a live overview of when the user is logged in, from where, and what he is doing. The audit tools will give full insights and will trigger further actions.
  5. The administrator can easily block an Awingu account remotely. This can be triggered if usage anomalies are identified, e.g. because the user has written down his login and password on his laptop, and if the MFA token was stolen together with the laptop.

Click here for your two-week free Awingu trial and start implementing secure mobile device policy today!

Sources:

  1. http://www.channelpronetwork.com/article/mobile-device-security-startling-statistics-data-loss-and-data-breaches
  2. http://searchmobilecomputing.techtarget.com/tip/Two-factor-authentication-Mobile-security-at-your-fingertips