MobileIron report warns of C-suite risk to mobile security

James is editor in chief of TechForge Media, with a passion for how technologies influence business and several Mobile World Congress events under his belt. James has interviewed a variety of leading figures in his career, from former Mafia boss Michael Franzese, to Steve Wozniak, and Jean Michel Jarre. James can be found tweeting at @James_T_Bourne.

It is already commonly regarded that humans are the weakest link in the chain when it comes to cybersecurity – but a new MobileIron study has found that the fish rots from the head.

According to the enterprise security provider, based on interviews of 300 enterprise IT decision makers and 50 C-level executives, the C-suite is the most likely group within an organisation to ask for more relaxed mobile security protocols, in spite of being the most likely targets for attacks.

More than two thirds (68%) of C-level execs polled said IT security compromised their personal privacy. 62% said security limited the usability of their device, while 58% said IT security was too complex. Alongside this, more than three quarters (76%) of C-suite respondents admitted to requesting to bypass at least one of their organisation’s security protocols last year.

From the IT perspective, almost four in five (78%) agreed that the C-suite was most likely to be targeted by phishing attacks. Seven in 10 (71%) said the top execs were most likely to fall victim to such attacks.

Brian Foster, SVP product management at MobileIron, said the findings highlight the potential ‘point of tension’ between business and IT.
“IT views the C-suite as the weak link when it comes to cybersecurity, while execs often see themselves as above security protocols,” said Foster. “In today’s modern enterprise, cybersecurity can’t be an optional extra.

“Businesses need to ensure they have a dynamic security foundation in place that works for everyone within the organisation,” Foster added. “This means that mobile security must be easy to use, while also ensuring that employees at every level of the business can maintain maximum productivity without interference, and without feeling that their own personal privacy is being compromised.”

According to a study last year from Centrify, which polled 1,000 IT decision makers, almost three quarters of respondents whose organisations had been breached acknowledged that it involved access to a privileged account. Writing for this publication earlier this month, Louis Columbus noted the importance of this aspect of security as organisations navigate through Covid-19.

“If you’re looking for a sure sign any business will be around and growing in 12 months, look at how fast they are digitally reinventing themselves at the infrastructure level and protecting privileged access credentials first,” he wrote. “Digital-first businesses are taking a more adaptive approach to consistently controlling access to hybrid infrastructure for both on-premises and remote users now.”

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

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