Mobile security is at the top of every company’s worry list these days — and for good reason: Nearly all workers now routinely access corporate data from smartphones, a trend that’s grown even more prominent thanks to the ongoing global pandemic. The vast majority of devices interacting with corporate data are now mobile, in fact — some 60%, according to Zimperium — and that number is only bound to keep climbing as the world acclimates to our new remote-work reality.
All that means keeping sensitive information out of the wrong hands is an increasingly intricate puzzle. The stakes, suffice it to say, are higher than ever: The average cost of a corporate data breach is a whopping $3.86 million, according to a 2020 report by the Ponemon Institute. That’s 6.4% more than the estimated cost just three years earlier, and the nature of the pandemic is expected to bring that cost up further yet, given the extra challenges presented by the work-from-home arrangement.
While it’s easy to focus on the sensational subject of malware, the truth is that mobile malware infections are uncommon in the real world — with your odds of being infected significantly less than your odds of being struck by lightning, according to one memorable estimate. Malware ranks as one of the least common initial actions in data breach incidents, as noted by Verizon’s 2020 Data Breach Investigations Report. That’s thanks to both the nature of mobile malware and the inherent protections built into modern mobile operating systems.
The more realistic mobile security hazards lie in some often-underemphasized areas, all of which are only expected to become more pressing in the months ahead: