Why it’s time to worry about mobile security

"The concern for me is the user's disregard for security when using public free Wi-Fi to connect to business servers or online banking/security websites," James added.

The importance of being ready

Whilst IT departments should never fall for the wild claims of preachy vendors, the mobile threat is more likely than ever to become a reality.

Being prepared for the inevitable is invaluable. Prevention is always preferable to a cure, but this evidently hasn't hit home with either IT departments or end users.

Juniper Research found a measly one in 20 smartphones and tablets run security software, leaving 96 per cent of such mobile devices in danger. Yet as company information increasingly makes its way onto users' mobile clients, malware will have access to a much more valuable pool of data, making protection even more vital. It isn't just the quality of malware businesses should worry about - it's the quality of data going on mobile devices too.

Prevention is always preferable to a cure, but this evidently hasn't hit home with either IT departments or end users.

IT teams should consider both drawing up a solid policy plan and about implementing the right software.

"Businesses need to have a guideline for mobile usage, a limit on what data is stored and accessible by mobile devices and a good software security solution for all hardware. Mobiles, servers and desktops need to be protected regardless of if they never connect to the internet," James added.

On top of installing the necessary technology, education will also be key for companies as the problem becomes more of a reality.

"Network managers need to make sure that they educate their users as to the risk that unsecured mobile devices pose to the network," Courtot added. "Allowing unsecured devices to connect to your network beyond the perimeter of security can lead to serious breaches in security, potentially leading to the loss of valuable data."

The last thing the security world needs is for concerns to fall on deaf ears, only for the mobile threat to become uncontrollable. Think of global warming issues. Remember how they were ignored, belittled even? Mobile security certainly does not have the same serious worldwide consequences as the alarming rise in CO2 levels, but businesses would be wise not to make similar mistakes.

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.