Verizon Mobile Security Index: The shift to remote work sees major rise in cybercrime

Verizon Mobile Security Index: The shift to remote work sees major rise in cybercrime

The increase in remote working has resulted in an increase in vulnerability for companies protecting themselves from cyberattacks. The Verizon Mobile Security Index (MSI) 2022 reveals that there is a continued rise in major cyberattacks in the last year involving a mobile/IoT device, up 22% year-over-year, that resulted in data or system downtime. With 85% of companies surveyed stating that they now have a budget dedicated to mobile security, there has never been a more pressing need to apply those funds to cyberthreat mitigation.

Security teams face an uphill battle as the number of devices and remote workers increase, so much so that 79% of respondents agreed that the recent changes to working practices have adversely affected their organisation’s cybersecurity. With the increased threat, it would seem that companies would double down on their policies. However, the findings point to the opposite, with 85% saying home Wi-Fi and cellular networks/hotspots are allowed or there is no policy against them and 68% allow or have no policy against the use of public Wi-Fi.

The MSI details four sectors of the mobile threat landscape: people and behaviours, apps, devices and things, and networks and cloud. Additionally, it provides expert insights into how to help safeguard against pending cybercrime attacks, such as establishing a Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) model and a Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) architecture, which are designed for a mobile-first and cloud-first world.

The report also highlights the impact of cybercrime on mobile security across various business sectors. Highlights are as follows:

  • Enterprise: 23% of respondents suffered a mobile security compromise. Of those, 74% said the impact of the mobile security compromise was major and over a third (34%) said it had lasting repercussions. Furthermore, 81% of organisations said their mobile device security spend increased over the past year and 76% believe it will increase over the coming year.
  • Retail: Almost nine out of 10 (88%) businesses are concerned that a mobile security breach could have a lasting impact on their brand or customer loyalty. However, 70% said that increased mobile use is essential to staying relevant to consumers, while 41% said this presented a daunting security challenge.
  • Financial services: More than nine out of 10 (93%) executives believe cybercriminals see their sector as a more lucrative target than other industries.
  • Healthcare: Nearly nine out of 10 (87%) healthcare organisations are concerned that the highly confidential nature of patient data makes them a target for cybercriminals and 85% say they are concerned that a security breach could compromise patient care. Conversely, three out of four (76%) organisations agree that the adoption of telehealth presents healthcare providers with a great opportunity to improve patient care.
  • Manufacturing, construction and transportation: Four out of five (79%) believe a mobile security compromise could disrupt their entire supply chain, resulting in serious financial implications. However, 76% of organisations agree that the adoption of mobile-based services by shop floor workers is essential to improving productivity.
  • Public sector and education: Almost nine out of 10 (87%) said that employee expectations for remote/flexible working is forcing them to re-evaluate how they operate. Another 72% of respondents agreed that the increased use of mobile-based services by public sector employees is essential to accelerating the Digital Transformation of public services.
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