Mobility causing security headaches for GCC orgs, says GBM study

Only 10% of executives take appropriate measures to protect corporate data on personal devices

Tags: Gulf Business Machines
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Mobility causing security headaches for GCC orgs, says GBM study Nofal: Security has become a boardroom discussion within an organisation
By  Tom Paye Published  April 26, 2015

Eighty per cent of GCC executives use their personal mobile devices for work, though only 10% adopt appropriate security measures to protect corporate data on their devices, according to a new study from Gulf Business Machines (GBM).

The fourth annual GBM Security Study found that security breaches in the GCC are on the rise, with one in five respondents being aware of a privacy violation in the past 12 months. Driving this are trends such as the increasing sophistication of cyber-attacks, the rise of cloud computing and a blasé attitude towards secure mobility and social media, GBM said.

The company added that companies in the Middle East have been adopting more flexible technologies in the workplace, but not necessarily investing enough to mitigate against the potential risks of doing so.

"Security has become a boardroom discussion within an organisation and in our fourth edition of GBM Annual Security Study, we are focusing on the regional executives' awareness and readiness to address the security challenges" said Hani Nofal, vice president, Intelligent Network Solutions, GBM.

"The survey showed that around a third of respondents are still unaware of the laws and regulations related to cyber security in their country. More awareness needs to be raised and measures put in place."

While 86% of executives said they had major concerns about data and identity theft, the survey found that 75% of employees in the GCC use their personal mobile phones for work. What's more, 40% of respondents (and 60% of executives) said that they accept terms and conditions without reading them when downloading and installing apps.

The survey also said that 50% of respondents use only one type of security measure to access data on mobile devices - generally a password or a PIN. But only 10% of executives use appropriate security measures, GBM said. And 14% of respondents said they use no form of security at all on their mobiles.

"We must ensure that the correct security measures are in place in order for organisations, and the general public, to feel safe in the technologies that can provide added value to their working and personal lives," Nofal warned.

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