Wishful thinking is not a mobile security strategy

Fear is a gift.

Sure, it can generate anxiety and discomfort, but fear is a gift because it has the power to motivate changes in behavior that can improve our well-being. We probably all know someone who has redesigned his or her diet and lifestyle after a big health scare.

There are endless other examples of fear-based behavior modification, but the bottom line is that fear is a rational response to a perceived danger. What isn’t rational — but instead is counterproductive and even dangerous — is when people who have legitimate fears fail to act upon them. Then we’re veering into irrational and even irresponsible behavior, neither of which enhances chances of survival.

Here’s where I’m going with this: A recent Ponemon Institute study on mobile and Internet of Things (IoT) application security reveals a disconnect between the levels of fear regarding breaches and the actions taken to safeguard enterprise data and networks against attacks:

“Respondents are slightly more concerned about getting hacked through an IoT app (58%) than a mobile app (53%). However, despite their concern, organizations are not mobilizing against this threat: 44% of respondents say they are taking no steps and 11% are unsure if their organization is doing anything to prevent such an attack.

Only 32% of respondents say their organization urgently wants to secure mobile apps and 42% of respondents say it is urgent to secure IoT apps.”

The enterprise IT pros at organizations taking no proactive steps against mobile or IoT attacks are playing a dangerous game. One major breach can cost an enterprise in revenue, brand value, recovery costs and more.

It’s hard work, no doubt, to secure enterprise data and networks from mobile and IoT. Harder still is 1) trying to recover data and 2) explaining to the CEO why a breach occurred. “Sure we were worried, but we never really took action” isn’t likely to be well-received in the corner office.

Listen to your fears.


2017: The Maturing of IoT and the Industrial Internet

Manufacturers of home networking gear and IoT devices flagged for poor security

How long does it take to hack an unsecured IoT device?


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