Business Risk: Smartphones Can Transmit Confidential Information

Smartphones are embedded into today's corporate culture. But, if you use your smartphone for both business and personal purposes, you may be putting your company at risk.

A new study from AVG Technologies found that most people are surprisingly indifferent to the many serious security risks associated with the storage and transmission of sensitive data on iPhone, Blackberry and Android devices. For example:

89 percent of those in the poll were unaware that smartphone applications can transmit confidential payment information such as credit card details without the user's knowledge or consent.

91 percent were unaware that financial applications for smartphones can be infected with specialized malware designed to steal credit card numbers and online banking credentials.

Nearly a third (29 percent) said they store credit and debit card information on their devices.

More (35 percent) reported using their smartphones to store "confidential" work related documents, even though most seem to know that this can put these documents at risk. 28 percent of respondents said they were unaware that using their smartphone for business and personal reasons can put business information at risk.

More than half (56 percent) of survey respondents did not know that failing to properly log off from a social network app could allow an imposter to post malicious details or change personal settings without their knowledge. Among the "aware" group, 37 percent were unsure whether or not their profiles had already been manipulated.

"The findings of this study signal what could be an overlooked security risk for organizations created by employees' use of smartphones. Because consumers in our study report that they often use smartphones interchangeably for business and personal, organizations should make sure their security policies include guidelines for the appropriate use of smartphones that are used for company purposes," said Dr. Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of Ponemon Institute, the research agency that conducted the study.

TAGS: Finance
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