New Mobile Data Security Study Published
A new mobile data security study has been published that suggests that there is a market for the provision of an increased range of security products for mobile devices in both the USA and the UK. In both countries consumers are concerned about the data that is stored on mobile devices.
The mobile data security study was conducted on behalf of Inhance Technologies by iReach Insights. It consisted of a comparative analysis of data security attitudes on both sides of the Atlantic. One aim of the survey was to determine whether there was a market for enhanced product warranties that could be supplied with mobile phones and other devices to protect the data that is stored on them.
Fear of Loss of Data a Major Concern
Unsurprisingly perhaps, mobile phone users in both the UK and USA have concerns about how secure their devices are, and also the security of the cloud. Such is the value of the data they store on these devices – which includes irreplaceable photographs as well as messages, agendas, contact telephone numbers and emails – that Smartphone owners rate the data to be just as valuable as their iPhones.
The survey showed that in the 18-54-age range – those people most likely to use phones for more than just making phone calls and sending text messages – eighty percent of respondents rated the value of the data as being equal to or more than the cost of the phone, while this figure was three quarters for the sample as a whole.
As the volume of data stored on the devices grows, so does the fear of loss. The survey suggests that 27% of respondents are more worried now about the loss or theft of their device – and the data it contains – than 12 months ago. Whether the numbers of device thefts has also risen during this time was not mentioned in the study.
The survey also showed that mobile phone users are more concerned about their data than their phones, the latter being considered replaceable. 70% of respondents were concerned about phone theft due to the data loss or exposure; not for the loss of the device on which that data is contained.
Insurance companies are offering policies that only cover the cost of phone replacement and little consideration is given for the data contained on the phones. The mobile data security study points out that there is a market for improved insurance policies that cover data loss, and that consumers would be willing to pay more for the extra peace of mind those services offers.
Protecting Healthcare Data on Mobile Devices
The study was aimed at the consumer market, but with healthcare data needing to be protected, there is potential for these products to be adapted for business use. For example, in the healthcare industry, many organizations have yet to implement a BYOD policy out of fear of causing a HIPAA violation, yet physicians still use their own devices to communicate with other care team members and PHI is often sent over these unsecured networks.
When these devices are lost or stolen, no data may be lost, but confidential patient information could be put into the hands of unauthorized individuals, and that would violate HIPAA Rules. It is one of the reasons why it is important to have a policy covering the use of mobile devices in the workplace, and to use a healthcare texting app to ensure that in the event of loss or theft, no data is lost. Data encryption on mobile devices – including laptops – is also a must.