What's The True Cost Of A Mobile Breach?

Data breaches in the enterprise are nothing new, but the frequency and severity with which they’re now occurring is at an all-time high. What’s more incredible is that not all breaches are solely from organizations being penetrated by outside forces; rather, it’s their own employees slipping up and allowing for security to take a back seat to productivity.

That growth is all the more evident when considering how much mobile devices now play a part in everyday activity for employees from top to bottom within the organization.

So what’s the cost of a mobile data breach, and what are enterprises doing to stop it?

According to a survey conducted by the Ponemon Institute, about 3-percent of enterprise mobile devices are infected by malware, with the company spending up to 13-percent of its total IT budget just to triage a widespread mobile malware infection.

Additionally, 54-percent of those surveyed said their enterprise suffered a mobile malware infection in the past 24 months, while 12-percent said they didn’t know one way or another.

And what does a security breach and potential data loss amount to? Big, big financial loss.

If an entire enterprise’s mobile fleet is infected by some type of malware or ransomware, Ponemon estimated a total cost of triage – including direct and indirect costs – at a whopping $26,389,863. No matter the size of the enterprise, no company wants to lose that much money due to a simple virus that could have been stopped before it even began.

Outside the financial impact of those breaches, companies need to consider what else is at stake, including immense contact lists – for both employees and customers – employee PII, and other business-critical, confidential documents.

While that chest-clutching $26 million figure mentioned earlier is a lot to swallow, consider the ramifications of a breach after details are released to the public. When customers found out some 40 million debit and credit card accounts were hacked due to one of department store Target’s third-party vendors, the cost to the business was astronomical – an estimated $520 million loss year over year during the same quarter.

A 2016 poll conducted by OnePoll showed nearly 87% of respondents stated they were either “not very likely” or “not at all likely” to do business with a company that had financial information breached. The same poll showed similar numbers for companies that lost email or home addresses and telephone numbers.

IT executives from across the globe ranked mobile security as their fifth biggest priority in 2017, per a survey conducted by Enterprise Mobility Exchange earlier this year. Slightly more than 59-percent of those same respondents said mobile security was a high priority for them this year.

The infiltration of mobile malware and ransomware won’t be slowing any time soon, either, as BYOD and COPE platforms continue to pick up steam in work settings. Earlier this year an intelligence report stated Android devices – with all 24,000 of its unique device types – accounted for 81% of 2016’s malware infections, followed by Windows-based devices picking up another 15%.

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