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Mobile security breaches hit 43% of regional organisations

BT survey shows mobile security breaches a growing issue in Middle East

Mobile security breaches hit 43% of regional organisations
Despite all of the organisations surveyed allowing use of personal devices for work, only half had a BYOD policy.

Forty-three percent of organisations in the Middle East have been hit by mobile security breaches in the past 12 months, with one fifth of respondents experiencing four or more incidents, according to a new survey by BT.

The survey of organisations of 1,000 or more employees in the financial, retail and public sectors, found that security for mobile devices was lacking in the region, despite all organisations surveyed allowing users to either use their own personal devices or use Corporately Owned Personally-Enabled (COPE) devices. Forty-three percent of devices had full access to internal networks or sensitive client information.

Only half of respondent organisations had an active BYOD policy to manage mobile devices, and 23% of Middle Eastern organisations do not have any kind of enforceable mobile security policy, while 42% do not have password protection for devices, and 53% did not have IT security training for all.

Mark Hughes, president of BT Security, said: "Today's threat landscape shifts very quickly so it is important for organisations to start with security in mind, rather than add it as an afterthought. This will ensure that security processes develop with them, and not after them. This makes the task of being security-led much more straightforward."

Staff attitudes remain the biggest threat to data security, according to the report, with 37% of users not taking security of devices seriously. Furthermore, 47% of IT decision makers do not believe their CEO takes security very seriously.

"If CEOs are passionate about making security practices work, then they will inevitably become an intrinsic part of people's lives. Problems usually arise when people don't understand the risks and the impact that neglecting security could cause for the business, as well as for them personally. A security breach could cause a share price drop and reputational brand damage. This means that security is everyone's job," Hughes added.

"At BT, we are working with many leading global organisations to help educate them about security risks and put in place proactive defences. When people understand the repercussions of not adhering to security practices, and are given the tools to prevent them, organisations will truly be able to reap the many benefits of mobility and BYOD."

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