Mobile insecurity at work? Blame highly paid dudes

The biggest smartphone security threats at work come from male workers under age 35 who earn more than $60,000 a year.

The biggest smartphone security threats to companies caused by workers come from males under age 35 who earn more than $60,000 a year.

Those are the findings of a new study commissioned by Aruba Networks that questioned 11,500 workers in 23 countries.

Some of the findings in the survey should "give IT the cold shivers," Ben Gibson, chief marketing officer for Aruba, said in an interview.

One data finding in particular popped out, he said, showing that 60% of workers under 35 (which Aruba calls GenMobile) were willing to share their work and personal smartphones and other mobile devices with other people. And nearly one-fifth of them didn't even have passwords on the devices. Many of those without passwords said they did so to be able to share the devices more easily.

Also, 56% of the under 35-year-olds said they were willing to disobey their boss to get work done on a device, while 87% said they assumed their IT shops would keep them protected. Meanwhile, 31% also admitted they had lost data because of the misuse of a device.

Such attitudes "can be compared to driving at high speed with some very creative twists and turns, but often...doing so without a seatbelt," Aruba said.

The age bracket with the highest propensity to experience data and identity theft is workers aged 25-34 years; survey respondents over age 55 are half as likely to have experienced identity theft or the loss of personal or client data.

Employees earning more than $60,000 a year are twice as likely as those making much less to have lost company financial data. Higher earners were also three times as likely to give out a device password. Men are also 20% more likely than women to have lost personal or client data due to the misuse of a smartphone, the survey said.

Aruba described the survey's findings as wake-up call to businesses that need to balance the drive by younger workers to succeed through use of mobile devices and the Internet, while also ensuring that company assets don't suffer.

As younger workers become a more central part of every workplace, "businesses need to understand how to manage workplace productivity and morale, without endangering company security," Aruba said.

Aruba, which is in the process of being acquired by Hewlett-Packard, doesn't consider itself a traditional network security vendor, Gibson said. Aruba created a Security Risk Index tool so companies can rate their risk levels compared to other firms in their country and industry, based on the survey findings.

Separately, Aruba sells ClearPass Policy Management software tools, but is open to interoperate with software from other vendors, Gibson added.

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags securityAruba networksmobile security

More about

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Matt Hamblen

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    IDG Live Webinar:The right collaboration strategy will help your business take flight

    Speakers - Mike Harris, Engineering Services Manager, Jetstar - Christopher Johnson, IT Director APAC, 20th Century Fox - Brent Maxwell, Director of Information Systems, THE ICONIC - IDG MC/Moderator Anthony Caruana

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts

Market Place