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Sophos reveals data security worries

Security company polled IT professionals at GITEX, reveals a lack of understanding about social media threat

Sophos reveals data security worries
Sophos surveys IT professionals at GITEX>

Sophos carried out a survey at GITEX 2011, in which 64% of respondents said they would not be confident that data stored on a mobile device belonging to their organisation, would be secure in the event it was lost or stolen. The survey polled 181 IT professionals at the show.

"To date, encryption has had a low rate of deployment in the Middle East, and there is a lack of regulation around data protection. However, it's no real surprise to us that almost two thirds of those surveyed felt their corporate data would not be secure if a mobile device was lost. Mobile device security was a really hot topic for us at Gitex this year, and in general the topic has quickly risen to the top of security agendas as organisations are beginning to get really concerned about the potential for damage if these devices are lost or stolen," said Kamel Heus, managing director, MEA, Sophos.

Fifty-eight percent of those polled felt that viruses were still the biggest threat to their corporate network, while 34% rated device theft or loss as the biggest threat.

Thirty-two percent of respondents said that they thought hackers were the biggest threat despite hacking still making up only a small portion of the overall threat. Sophos said that the perception that hacking is a big threat may have stemmed from several high-profile attacks in recent months.

Only 16.5% of those polled said that social media was the biggest threat to online security. Social media is widely used in the Middle East and is currently one of the major vectors for cyber criminals. According to Sophos, the low percentage of respondents that thought this was a threat, reflects a lack of understanding around social media and the threats it can pose to IT security.

"We did something a bit different at Gitex this year and presented a series of educational seminars each day, which also covered mobile. The attendance and reaction of attendees was phenomenal and showed there's a real gap out there in terms of educating people on the threats and how to handle them. As a result, we intend to repeat these educational sessions in a series of free seminars in the GCC countries. This goes hand in hand with our mission to raise awareness about cyber crime and minimise the risks that companies are exposed to in the region," said Heus.

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