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Fears mobile security lagging behind introduction of IoT

The pace of adoption of the internet of things (IoT) and other mobile technologies by business is outstripping the introduction of equivalent cybersecurity measures.

That’s according to a new report from US telecommunications firm Verizon Wireless, entitled the ‘Verizon Mobile Security Index 2020’. The third in a yearly series, and partly consisting of a survey of 876 IoT and mobile security professionals, some of the key findings included the fact that only 13% of businesses had four “basic protections”, namely: regular testing of security systems, encryption, access management and an absence of default passwords.

The threat is very real, with 39% surveyed saying that they had suffered a “mobile-security-related” breach, of which 66% went on to call the impact “major” and 55% said the incident had had lasting repercussions.

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In an accompanying press release, Bryan Sartin, executive director, global security services, said: “In today’s world, mobile connectivity is more important than ever. Organizations of all sizes and in all industries rely on mobile devices to run much of the day to day operations, so mobile security is a priority. The types of devices, diverse applications and further emergence of IoT devices further complicate security. Everyone has to be deliberate and diligent about mobile security to protect themselves and their customers.”

As for what companies can do to combat such breaches, Verizon recommended a specific focus on putting security first. The 43% of correspondents that had “sacrificed” mobile security were duly twice as likely to have an incident.

That report dovetails with attendant worries about the further vulnerabilities IoT’s reliance on 5G introduces to the mix, with Verizon saying that 80% of organisations would use mobile means as their primary means of accessing cloud services within the next five years. It’s a prescient issue, considering that another recent report suggesting that, by 2025, 5% of all 5G connections will be from IoT-enabled objects.

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