Smartphones are quickly becoming the single most important item we carry around with us. They contain everything from our personal credit card numbers, contacts and photos, to our business email, confidential documents, CRM apps and much more. All this therefore makes it even more troubling that a new survey reveals that 89 percent of respondents wouldn’t know if their device had been hit with a cyberattack — making a security awareness program all the more necessary.

This is the disconcerting revelation of a survey carried out by Promon which also found that 41 percent of respondents believe that not logging onto publicly shared Wi-Fi points is enough to protect their mobile devices from cyberattack. Meanwhile, 22 percent openly admit to taking no steps whatsoever to protect themselves. Just 27 percent of respondents rely on security apps to protect their devices, while less than half (43 percent) use passwords to protect their smartphones from attacks.

“This study has shown once again that consumers need to be educated about the growing mobile threat, but much more importantly, that businesses need to have a proactive approach and focus on safeguarding their customers’ sensitive data and systems,” Lars Lunde Birkeland, head of communication at Promon said.

“It is paramount for businesses to take responsibility for securing their own data now, with the increased likelihood of mobile cyberattack and users’ lack of awareness of how to combat these threats. It is impossible for banks and businesses to teach their customers how to behave safely overnight,” Birkeland added.

Given that the bring your own technology (BYOT) trend is becoming increasingly prevalent in all industries — from education to government to retail — engaging in a security awareness program is something that enterprises of all sizes need to prioritize with their employees, especially given the number of attacks which are targeting smartphones.

With everything from employees accessing public Wi-Fi points and malicious apps to employee error threatening the security of a company’s data, securing the devices that connect to your corporate network is vitally important.

Learn more about measures you can take to bolster smartphone security in your organization here.

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David Gilbert

David Gilbert specializes in covering the global smartphone industry and the dangerous world of cybercrime. David previously served as European technology editor at the International Business Times, and as Technology Editor for the UK edition of IBTimes for over three-and-a-half years, where he earned the prestigious Digital Writer of the Year award at the Online Media Awards in 2013.

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