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7 Ways Consumerization Threatens Your Enterprise

Here are the 7 biggest threats consumerization can bring to your enterprise.

Mobile Malware Mobile Malware

Mobile devices are becoming ubiquitous to the business world. Of the 1.875 billion phones sold in 2013, 1 billion units will be smartphones, compared with 675 million units in 2012. And an increased number of smartphones means even more malware. From March 2012 through March 2013, the total amount of malware that the Juniper Networks Mobile Threats Report sampled across all mobile platforms grew 614 percent to 276,259 total malicious apps, compared with a 155 percent increase reported in 2011.

Lost/Stolen Devices Lost/Stolen Devices

Anytime a device has access to sensitive corporate information, there’s a risk of a data breach if it is lost or stolen. According to Juniper, mobile device management is used to locate phones 13 percent of the time, but only 1.5 percent of lost/stolen devices are actually wiped.

Public Clouds Public Clouds

Many employees utilize free cloud services, which are ripe for security breaches. In a survey of nearly 4,000 information workers in the U.S. and U.K., 66 percent were found to use free file-sharing platforms. More than half do so without the knowledge of their IT departments.

Social Media Strategy Social Media Strategy

Often enterprises jump into social media without any clear objectives, simply because their competitors are. Even with a clear strategy, the ROI is largely unknown since much of the return is qualitative (i.e., increasing brand awareness, creating a connected community, etc.). Forrester forecasts that U.S. marketers alone will spend $4.8 billion on social marketing tactics in 2013, but 28 percent say that social media doesn’t offer enough ROI, with measuring bringing its own unique challenge.

Unsanctioned Social Media Unsanctioned Social Media

Social media is intended to broadcast a company’s brand and persona. Left in the wrong hands, havoc can quickly ensue. There are no shortage of horror stories, from AP’s Twitter account getting hacked , which sent the Dow crashing, to Amy’s Bakery Facebook meltdown. Other threats include sharing private/classified information and ignoring/mishandling customer complaints.

Enterprise Social Platforms Enterprise Social Platforms

Despite the fact that consumer social media platforms are growing at an exponential rate, enterprise social networks have yet to gain that level of adoption. Unfortunately, enterprises often waste money on a platform that employees rarely use, even they’re even aware of its existence.

Shadow IT Shadow IT

Although cloud computing is a relatively new addition to the enterprise, business users have been utilizing public cloud services for quite a while, often hiding this fact from IT. When business users go around IT, they leave the organization open to a plethora of problems, such as security, SLAs (or lack thereof), uptime issues, siloed information and others.

For more on enterprise security … For more on enterprise security …

Read about the “Top 3 Data Security Challenges for IT Managers.”

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All photos used with permission from Thinkstock.

We look to technology to enhance our lives, but every OS update and new consumer technology can potentially be a headache for IT. Dropbox, personal email and mobile malware are just a few examples of potential security threats for your organization. And for every enterprise technology, there’s a consumer version that business users will want to integrate in their day-to-day workings, with or without IT’s permission.


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