AVG (AU/NZ) Pty Ltd, the distributor of the award-winning AVG Internet and mobile security software in Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific, warns how important it is for small to medium sized businesses to understand the risks posed by their organisations’ growing reliance on mobile technologies.
AVG Technologies’ annual SMB Market Landscape Report, which tracks the security attitudes and practices of companies with up to 100 employees, has revealed that almost 75 percent of respondents did not realise the dangers of having outdated security regimes in place for the mobile devices they provide to staff, or those owned by employees and used at work.
Michael McKinnon, Security Advisor at AVG (AU/NZ), said: “New mobility technologies are providing tremendous opportunities for flexibility and efficiency but they also expose businesses to the very costly impacts of hacking and Internet malware.”
He stresses how vital it is to acknowledge that, despite their size, smartphones and tablets are powerful, Internet-connected mobile computers, with vital business and personal information being carried on them. And, because of their size, can be easily misplaced, lost or stolen. Combine this with a 273 percent* rise in mobile malware in the first half of 2011 and such devices are a growing security risk that SMBs must address quickly.
From the Report, one in ten of the organisations surveyed has deployed business applications on tablet devices, a threefold increase on figures from the 2010 survey. The fast-paced development of Android mobile technologies over the past year appears to have filtered down to SMB level, where almost one in ?ve companies are now using these devices.
Half the responding organisations give employees remote access to their networks, with the typical telecommuting worker spending one day a week away from their of?ce. Most popular locations for remote working are from home (71%), while on the move (47%) and from wireless hotspots (35%) which open businesses to the highest level of risk.
McKinnon strongly advises properly securing smartphones and tablet devices with purpose-designed security solutions, such as AVG’s Mobilation package for Android.
McKinnon says “Awareness of common features such as those available in AVG Mobilation that allow lost or stolen devices to be easily located or remotely wiped, is still not widely adopted, yet is vital for all SMBs to protect important data.”
And, anti-virus and Internet protection offered by AVG’s Internet Security Business Edition 2012 should be kept current for all computers and mobile devices that are brought in or taken home by staff, contractors, clients and visitors.
*According to a study conducted by G Data Security Labs,
AVG SMB Market Landscape Report 2011
This annual report, commissioned by AVG and undertaken by GfK NOP, collated the online responses from 1,000 ICT managers in the USA and the UK during August 2011. Further reading: AVG SMB Market Landscape Report 2011 (16 pages, 1.4 Mb, PDF)