Working remotely leads to an increasing challenge for security teams

Working remotely leads to a sharp increase in cybercrime. That’s according to the Verizon Mobile Security Index 2022. Security teams face a growing challenge as the number of external devices and employees grows.

The Verizon Mobile Security Index (MSI) 2022 outlines that the number of major cyber attacks involving a mobile/IoT device – resulting in data loss or system disruption – increased by 22 percent in the past year. With 85 percent of companies surveyed saying they have a budget for mobile device security, the need has never been greater to use these resources to tackle cyber threats.

79 percent of business respondents to the survey agree that hybrid working is negatively impacting their organization’s cybersecurity. Given the increased threat, it would seem obvious that companies would tighten up their policies. However, 85 percent say they allow or have no policy against using home WiFi and mobile networks/hotspots: 68 percent allow or have no policy against using public Wi-Fi.

Loss of trust

“Companies need to spend time and budget on their security architecture, especially when it comes to devices outside the office environment,” said Sampath Sowmyanarayan, CEO, Verizon Business. “Otherwise, they make themselves vulnerable to cybercriminals.” Furthermore, data loss leads to damaged trust that is difficult to restore.

Some conclusions from the study:

  • Serious attacks on the rise – 45 percent of companies surveyed were attacked in the past 12 months, up 22 percent from last year
  • 79 percent of respondents agree that recent changes in the way they work have negatively impacted their organization’s cybersecurity
  • 52 percent of respondents say they have sacrificed the security of mobile devices, including IoT devices, to “get the job done” (e.g. meeting a deadline or goal)
  • 85 percent of the companies surveyed have a mobile security budget

The impact of cybercrime

MSI highlights the impact of cybercrime on mobile security across various business sectors. The main results are:

  • Companies: 23 percent of respondents have experienced compromised mobile security. Of these, 74% said it had a big impact and more than a third (34%) said it had lasting effects. In addition, four in five (81%) organizations said their spending on mobile device security has increased in the past year, and 76% believe they will continue to do so in the coming year.
  • retail trade: 88 percent of businesses are concerned that a mobile security breach could have a lasting impact on their brand or customer loyalty. However, 70% say the increased use of mobile devices is critical to staying relevant to consumers, while 41% say it’s a security challenge.
  • Financial services: 93 percent of industry executives believe that cybercriminals see their industry as a more lucrative target than other industries.
  • healthcare: 87 percent of healthcare organizations worry that the highly confidential nature of patient data makes them a target for cybercriminals. 85 percent are concerned that a security breach could endanger patient care. Conversely, three out of four (76%) organizations agree that the adoption of telecare allows caregivers to improve patient care.
  • Production, construction and transport: 79 percent of organizations believe that a mobile cyberattack could disrupt their entire supply chain. Still, 76 percent agree that workers’ use of mobile services in the workplace is critical to productivity.
  • Public sector and education: 87 percent of respondents say employee expectations for remote/flexible work are forcing them to rethink the way they work. In addition, 72 percent agree that the increased use of mobile services by public servants is key to the digital transformation of public services.

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