Cisco today released a set of results from an additional international study examining mobile workers’ security behaviour with regard to corporate security and its impact on businesses, revealing widespread plans to increase security spending by as much as 20 percent next year to protect expanding wireless networks and the growing numbers of mobile employees who access them.
The latest research builds on findings released earlier this month spotlighting the growing trend of mobile employees and how their security behaviour can heighten risks for business’ IT organisations as they connect to corporate networks and carry sensitive information outside office walls.
Ultimately, the global study (conducted this spring by InsightExpress, an independent market research firm) explores what’s driving IT to invest more heavily in securing connected business infrastructures. Their plans are driven by various business trends, such as regulatory compliance and strategic mobility initiatives, as well as the greater risks associated with increased collaboration among customers, vendors and partners.
“Businesses today are boosting productivity and corporate agility by enabling more employees to connect to the corporate network via mobile technologies,” said John N. Stewart, Cisco’s chief security officer. “Employees’ awareness and behaviors relating to mobile security are the crucial factors in protecting information and assets.”
Many mobile users say they aren’t always aware of security concerns, and their actions provide proof. Throughout the seven countries, many mobile employees say they access unauthorised wireless networks in public places and in their neighbourhoods. Many say they don’t encrypt data on their wireless devices or set passwords to prevent physical access to their information. And, inevitably, some mobile users lose their devices or suffer from theft.
With behavioural security implications as a backdrop, more than half of the IT decision makers surveyed (55 percent) do not believe that the frequency of threats will decline. As a result, three of every four IT decision makers (74 percent) said security spending will increase over the next fiscal year in an effort to accommodate growing wireless and mobility requirements. Almost half (46 percent) expect investments to increase by more than 10 percent, and almost one of every 10 (9 percent) expects spending to jump 20 percent or more.
“These figures are significant, because a 20 percent increase in spending on security alone could represent hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars for mid-size and large enterprises,” said Jeff Platon, vice president of security solutions for Cisco.