DALLAS, Oct. 29, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- While the majority of small business owners allow employees to use mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, few have taken steps to ensure these devices are kept safe from cyber threats.
According to a recent survey commissioned by AT&T* and the Polytechnic Institute of New York University, 90 percent of small businesses allow their employees to access work email via mobile devices, and 41 percent allow employees to use these devices to access business files. Eighty three percent of small businesses allow employees to use personal devices for work.
Only 65 percent reported information and data security of wireless devices as a concern, versus 91 percent concerned about computer and online data security. Fewer than one-third (29 percent) have installed anti-virus software on smartphones.
The survey** also found that 82 percent of small businesses have taken steps to secure company laptops. In contrast, only 32 percent are taking measures to protect smartphones, and 39 percent to protect tablets. Of the majority not taking steps to protect these mobile devices, fewer than half (42 percent) have plans to increase security.
"There is a troubling disconnect between business owners who want to keep data safe and the necessary steps to protect it," said Ed Amoroso, Chief Security Officer, AT&T. "With more employees using mobile devices, especially personal devices, business data is increasingly vulnerable to cyber threats. Protecting critical information can be easy and affordable, and small businesses need to recognize the reality of today's environment – this is a step they can't afford to ignore."
In addition to mobile security questions, the survey also asked business owners whether their business had experienced a cyber or online security incident. Nearly four in 10 (37 percent) reported being the victim of a security breach, such as a virus, mobile malware or phishing, with 21 percent being victimized within the last two years.
"Small businesses need to better understand their risk profile," said Nair Memon, Professor of Computer Science and Engineering and founding director of The Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Security and Privacy (CRISSP) at NYU-Poly. "This means treating every device that touches your network, from laptops to smartphones, as vulnerabilities and ensuring that security is built into the equation at every level."
Small business owners wanting more information keeping small businesses safe from cyberattack and other disasters can visit Safeguard Your Business.
For more information about AT&T products and services, please visit AT&T Small Business. For free business resources such as webinars, case studies, and best practices, visit AT&T Small Business Strategies and Insights. Additionally, real-time information and updates can be found on the AT&T Small Business Facebook page and AT&T Small Business Twitter channel.
*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.
**The results of the "AT&T Small Business Cyber Security Study" are based on an online survey of 623 small business owners and/or employees across the United States responsible for Information Technology (IT). The sample of participating companies was drawn from ResearchNow's online business panel of companies. Small businesses were defined as having between one and 100 full-time employees. The majority of survey respondents represented companies with fewer than ten employees. The online survey was fielded between September 24-27, 2012.
AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) is a premier communications holding company and one of the most honored companies in the world. Its subsidiaries and affiliates – AT&T operating companies – are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and around the world. With a powerful array of network resources that includes the nation's largest 4G network, AT&T is a leading provider of wireless, Wi-Fi, high speed Internet, voice and cloud-based services. A leader in mobile Internet, AT&T also offers the best wireless coverage worldwide of any U.S. carrier, offering the most wireless phones that work in the most countries. It also offers advanced TV services under the AT&T U-verse® and AT&T | DIRECTV brands. The company's suite of IP-based business communications services is one of the most advanced in the world.
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The Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Security and Privacy (CRISSP), a cutting-edge research collaboration of Polytechnic Institute of New York University (NYU-Poly) and other NYU schools, re-examines the entire cyber security paradigm to integrate technology with broader issues such as human psychology, business, public policies and law. NYU-Poly (formerly Polytechnic University), an affiliated institute of New York University, is a comprehensive school of engineering, applied sciences, technology and research, and is rooted in a 158-year tradition of invention, innovation and entrepreneurship: i2e. The institution, founded in 1854, is the nation's second-oldest private engineering school. In addition to its main campus in New York City at MetroTech Center in downtown Brooklyn, it also offers programs at sites throughout the region, around the globe and remotely through NYUe-Poly. NYU-Poly is an integral part of NYU Abu Dhabi, NYU Shanghai and the NYU Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP) in downtown Brooklyn. For more information, visit www.poly.edu and http://crissp.poly.edu.
SOURCE AT&T Inc.