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42 percent of Singapore businesses lack basic mobile security policies: Aruba Networks

Zafirah Salim | May 25, 2015
This finding is especially worrying following the rise of #GenMobile, which refers to a “new generation of workers who bring unique work habits with them, as they blend work and personal activities on the same device,” according to James Chia of Aruba Networks.

The findings of a recent study by Aruba Networks have revealed that the majority of businesses are ill prepared for the high-risk, high-growth mindset of the #GenMobile workforce, creating alarming disparity around security practices in the corporate world.

According to James Chia, Managing Director, South East Asia and Asia at Aruba Networks, #GenMobile refers to the "new generation of workers who bring unique work habits with them, as they blend work and personal activities on the same device."

He added that this new generation of workers are always connected and able to work from anywhere at any time. This means that they are more likely than others to access social media apps such as Facebook and Twitter during working hours, but they are also more likely to access and respond to work emails on their mobile device late into the night or over weekends.

"As #GenMobile workers blend their work and personal activities on the same device, companies must now worry about the devices and the data that they may contain. The fact that devices can connect from anywhere exposes the company to loss of data or data theft, if proper and necessary precautions are not in place," said Chia.

#GenMobiles' risk-prone behaviour in the workplace

The study, titled Securing #GenMobile: Is your business running the risk, polled over 11,500 workers across 23 countries, including Singapore. In this study, Aruba Networks highlighted three key trends that show how #GenMobile is paving the way for risk-prone behaviour in the workforce.

Firstly, Aruba finds that sharing of devices has become a norm in the workplace worldwide. In Singapore, six in 10 respondents share their work and personal devices with others regularly, which matches the global findings. In addition, 15 percent of these Singapore respondents stated that they do not have any security measures in place, such as implementing passwords, so that they can share more easily.

Chia warned that this is a dangerous practice as sharing of devices can lead to malicious and accidental exposure of confidential data. "Someone can open files or emails that should not be shared outside of the company. Often times, the sharing of devices will also lead to the sharing of password/s, which means the device can be accessed without the owners' knowledge," he said. 

Despite the increasing trend of device sharing, many of the employees still hold an indifferent attitude to security in the workplace. In fact, security was ranked fourth among the respondents in Singapore. Likewise, 87 percent of them believe IT departments will keep them protected, while 32 percent have lost data due to the misuse of mobile device.

 

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