Mobile Device Security Risks for BYOD Businesses – Implement Responsible Mobile Recycling

Business professionals have come to depend on their mobile phones, tablets and devices as part of their everyday lives. However, according to a recent study, the majority of users are concerned about the mobile security on these devices and confused where they should be looking for help when security incidents arise.

In March 2012, Juniper Networks’ first annual Mobility Index commissioned 4,037 mobile device users and IT decision-makers in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, China and Japan. The study reveals that most mobile users remain skeptical about the safety of their devices and the applications they utilize. According to this study, 63 percent of users are not sure if they should trust that their mobile experiences are secure.

The Bring Your Own Device trend gaining in popularity and because of this IT professionals reported data security breaches on unsanctioned devices as their number one concern. In fact, more than 40 percent of those surveyed indicated that they use personal devices for work without official permission. With nearly one-third of IT professionals reporting that their organization experienced a data security breach as a result of a personal device accessing company data, enterprises need to begin considering mobile security a serious issue.

According to the survey, 63 percent of users hold their service providers responsible for the safety of their private data. The remaining individuals surveyed depend on the device manufacturers and software service providers. However, all parties have a part to play in preventing mobile security breaches. Users have a responsibility to find out what applications they are using and if they are safe. They also need to protect the data on their phone with password protection or remote wiping abilities in the case of theft. Business owners also have a responsibility to put in place a mobile security plan that will protect their employees as well as the company’s confidential data.

To avoid giving cybercriminals the chance to hack into corporate networks, enterprises need to address the issues of mobile security and develop a plan to combat these issues. As more people rely on mobile applications, services and networks to handle critical personal and business information, individual users need to educate themselves on the consequences of mobile security while companies need to develop a comprehensive solution that will protect their sensitive corporate data.

An important consideration often overlooked in protecting sensitive mobile data is the responsible reuse and recycling of used devices once they are replaced with a newer technology. Many BYOD enterprises provide employee stipends to purchase their preferred mobile phone or tablet for business use, however they do not have procedures in place to ensure the data on used devices is protected once discarded.

In a recent study, Electronic Retention: What Does Your Mobile Phone Reveal About You?, researchers in the UK investigated the extent to which sensitive information resides on mobile phones after users attempt to remove the information. For the study, 49 re-sold mobile devices were acquired from secondary markets and examined using mobile forensic toolkits. Every device yielded some user information and 11,135 pieces of information were recovered, confirming that substantial personal information is retained on a typical mobile device.

Without a clear mobile recycling policy in place, employees are free to sell the used devices on eBay, Craiglist or online mobile buyback companies that offer little or no data protection guarantees. Additionally, it is essential for a BYOD organization to establish a partnership with a trusted mobile asset recovery and recycling vendor that offers proven, audited mobile data deletion methods and require their workforce to only resell and recycle their used mobile devices through this partner.

Enterprises that establish a secure mobile recycling program will not only benefit financially by recouping the remaining resale value of used mobile devices, but also ensure that their sensitive data does not end up in the wrong hands. For a list of certified electronics recyclers with validate data deletion processes, visit

Source by Paulie Anthony