New research released by BAE Systems Applied Intelligence has revealed that 71% of the IT and strategic decision makers surveyed believe their adoption of mobile technologies represents a significant risk to their organisation, with just 7% saying it represents little or no risk. Whether through corporate owned or Bring Your Own Device schemes (BYOD), attacks on mobile devices are now becoming increasingly prevalent as companies become ever more reliant on mobile devices in order to enable improved user experience and efficiency.
The new report, Business and the Cyber Threat: The Rise of Digital Criminality, which surveyed more than 500 IT decision makers in the UK, US, Canada and Australia, reveals a greater focus being placed on defending against mobile security threats and, as a result, just over half of businesses surveyed (56%) are confident their organisation understands the risks associated with mobile capabilities.
Businesses internationally are also responding to the broader threat presented by cyber attacks with 70% of organisations surveyed highlighting that they have crisis response plans in place, which is in turn fuelling a growing confidence amongst companies that they’re ready to defend themselves. Despite new technologies, new business practices and increasing reliance on critical systems making businesses more vulnerable, at least 85% of respondents in each of the four countries surveyed were confident that their organisations were well equipped to prevent targeted attacks (88% overall).
However, there are some signs that businesses may be over confident – particularly in the wake of a series of successful high profile attacks on large companies, including major retailers such as Target. A high number of respondents across the international survey group did not know if their business had crisis plans (almost a fifth at 17%) and, of those that did, large numbers of respondents (45% worldwide) did not believe that these crisis plans were well publicised, if at all, suggesting that internal communications around cyber security could be more clear. With 84% of those who took part in our research expecting the number of attacks to increase over the next few years, rising to 90% amongst UK respondents, businesses must act fast to ensure they have appropriate measures in place to defend themselves effectively.
The research highlights that although progress has been made, ultimately, there are still businesses worldwide that do not have confidence in the level of their security. Mobile capabilities are a growing threat to valuable company and customer information, and as digital criminals continue to develop sophisticated attack techniques, organisations need to make sure they are equipped to spot and mitigate these mobile targeted attacks.
Paul Henninger, Global Product Director at BAE Systems Applied Intelligence, comments “Although mobile attacks are becoming increasingly prevalent, it’s encouraging to see a high level of awareness and concern of the mobile threat at Board level.
“With a growing number of avenues for criminals to target in an increasingly hyper-connected world, it is more essential than ever that organisations think carefully about the actions they need to take to protect themselves and their customers as effectively as possible.
“Cyber threats are not the same as the everyday technology problems faced by businesses, so it’s especially important that the threats posed by cyber criminals, and the tactical impact that attacks can have on the business as a whole, are addressed at Board level and not treated as an IT problem alone.”