Smartphones and the New Cybersecurity Threat They Pose
Remember when your mobile phone just made phone calls?
Today, smartphones/mobile devices are owned by 77% of U.S. adults, according to Pew Research. With them, voice phone calls are made far less than other communication forms, such as texting, sending and receiving emails and in-app messaging. According to Medium, Americans send SMS (short message service) texts twice as often as voice calling, and OpenMarket said more than 6 billion texts are sent each day.
Before you attribute all that usage solely to Millennials (and 92% of them do own a smartphone), the same Pew Research report also noted that adoption rates have jumped among adults 65 and older (42%) and in households earning less than $30,000 per year (64%).
It’s not news that employees are bringing their personal devices to work. An iPass study on mobile professionals found that 83% of employees use their smartphones to access cloud-based apps for work. For the most part, companies (perhaps acknowledging the difficulty of separating employees from their smartphones) have accepted such usage.
Some businesses choose to provide their mobile workforce with enterprise-owned, commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) devices, managed and owned by the company—although employees may or may not be permitted to use them for non-work-related activities. However, bring-your-own-device (BYOD) usage for both work and personal activities remains common—including throughout supply chains.