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Four in ten UK firms have suffered a mobile security breach in the past year

A BT report has found that a surprisingly high percentage of businesses in the UK have been affected by a security breach via a mobile device – and companies are still failing to take mobile security seriously enough.

In the last year, the research found that 41 per cent of organisations in the UK had been hit by a mobile security breach. And a fifth of those that did suffer a breach, actually experienced over four mobile security lapses, not just the one.

Other findings included the fact that no less than 95 per cent of firms allow BYOD, yet only 35 per cent of respondents had a BYOD policy in place.

Just 15 per cent of those questioned felt that their company had sufficient resources to prevent a mobile security lapse, a woefully low statistic.

10 per cent of those questioned did not even have password protection in place for their mobile devices, in case they get lost or stolen.

BT also found that a third of personal (BYOD) or corporate-owned mobiles had full access to the company's internal network or sensitive client data, and equally, a third of organisations failed to have any kind of proper mobile security policy.

Related: How to keep on top of BYOD security: 5 major pointers from Dell

And as ever, the attitudes of employees is a problem – 81 per cent of staff are not taking the security of their mobile device seriously. Even at the top, CEOs still aren't security-focused enough – 69 per cent of IT decision makers said they didn't believe their chief exec took the matter of security seriously enough.

Mark Hughes, president of BT Security, commented: "If CEOs are passionate about making security practices work, then these will inevitably become an intrinsic part of people's lives. Problems usually arise when people don't understand the risks and the impact that neglecting security could cause for the business, as well as for them personally. A security breach could cause a share price drop and reputational brand damage. This means that security is everyone's job."

He added: "At BT, we are working with many leading global organisations to help educate them about security risks and put in place proactive defences. When people understand the repercussions of not adhering to security practices, and are given the tools to prevent them, organisations will truly be able to reap the many benefits of mobility and BYOD."

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