Between the exorbitant financial losses, expensive legal or regulatory infractions, and shameful reputation damages, businesses paid a whopping average of $7.2 million per data breach, according to computer security firm Symantec.
Across the country, mobile device users are realizing how mistaken they were to be so lax about their security. Everyone, from medical professionals to politicians to social media addicts to small businesses to everyday smartphone users, are suddenly feeling the potential impact of security breaches and data losses, and looking for appropriate solutions.
Over 80% of pharmaceutical and healthcare professionals routinely access sensitive records while mobile, according to a report in Medical News Today. Of that 80%, the vast majority (90%) use free file-sharing services, which do no have the adequate security necessary to access such sensitive documents. This puts these medical professionals at risk of breaking HIPAA codes, which would lead to serious infractions.
In addition the medical industry, the federal government is also incredibly vulnerable. According to a study titled "2014 Mobilometer Tracker: Mobility, Security, and the Pressure In Between," almost half of government employees who rely on their mobile devices aren't practicing several essential security protocols.
The security issues don't stop with professional industries either. Recently, a cyber security researcher from Telefonica found that the popular social app Snapchat has a vulnerability within it that allows hackers to launch a denial-of-service attack, a favorite tactic of infamous hacking group Anonymous, to freeze iPhones.
All of these studies, research, and statistics generally point to one conclusion: all mobile device users need some form of security on the actual device. The thing that most don't realize about their mobile security is that their devices are essentially moving targets. While on site, the data is protected by firewalls and other security features of the business's network, but once the user leaves the premises, they also leave the shade of these protective features. This is why the phone itself needs to have buffed up security platforms.
Independent IT-security institute AV-Test released a report in January of 2014 of what they consider to be the best security apps around. They ranked apps on security features and usability. Some of the apps received six out of six stars in terms of both, and include such programs as Avira's Free Android Security 3.0; Bitdefender's Mobile Security 2.6; KSMobile's CM Security 1.0; and McAfee's Mobile Security 3.1.
While many of these security apps are premium and require monthly payments, their price is nothing in comparison to the cost of data breaches. What mobile users need to ask isn't whether they need security or not, but rather can they afford to go on unprotected.