Press release: BT report encourages organizations to protect themselves against mobile security breaches

DC14-521 (4 November 2014)

Mobile devices represent a significant security risk for business, yet many are failing to make adequate provisions to protect their valuable data against threats

Security Mobile Research USA DataMobile security breaches have affected 68 percent of organizations in the last 12 months, according to a new global study from BT. Despite this, organizations are still not taking sufficient security measures to protect themselves against mobile threats, such as lost or stolen devices and malware infections. In fact, the report reveals that around half of respondents’ organizations who had suffered a mobile security breach, experienced more than four incidents in the last year.

The research explores the attitudes of IT decision makers towards security within their organizations. It shows that uptake of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) and COPE (Corporately Owned Personally-Enabled) devices is very high, with 93 percent of organizations allowing employees to use these devices for work purposes.

However, only four in 10 organizations surveyed actively have a BYOD policy. In this environment, device security is falling by the wayside: only a quarter of respondents felt that their company had sufficient resources in place to prevent a mobile security breach. Surprisingly, three in 10 (29 percent) do not have password protection, and less than half (45 percent) report that their organization has IT security training for all.

The report highlights that while 33 percent of personal or corporate owned mobile devices have full access to the internal networks or contain sensitive client information, a third of organizations do not have any kind of enforceable mobile security policy.

For those that do, the average length of time between reviewing mobile security measures is nine months. The infrequency of this is cause for concern, as many IT decision makers believe that the rate of malware infections will be on the rise in the next three to five years.

Security breaches, such as lost or stolen devices, malware infections such as viruses, spyware, and Trojan Horses, or the loss or theft of company or customer data,

have had a major impact on business processes, including taking up valuable help desk time and other IT resources. They have reduced employee productivity, day to day activity and even customer experience, as well as causing reputational damage. Some have even resulted in hefty fines.

Mark Hughes, president of BT Security, said: “Today’s threat landscape shifts very quickly so it is important for organizations to start with security in mind, rather than add it as an afterthought. This will ensure that security processes develop with them, and not after them. This makes the task of being security-led much more straightforward.”

Staff attitudes remain the biggest threat to data security. The report reveals that 74 percent are not taking the security of devices seriously. However, delving further into this, it becomes clear that this attitude trickles down from the top:sixty-nine percent of IT decision makers do not believe their CEO takes security very seriously. This is concerning, as security programs need to have complete top down buy-in in order to be successful, with everyone from the CEO right throughout the organization taking part.

Mark Hughes said: “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.”

At BT, we are working with many leading global organizations to help educate them about security risks and put in place proactive defenses. When people understand the repercussions of not adhering to security practices, and are given the tools to prevent them, organizations will truly be able to reap the many benefits of mobility and BYOD.”
- Mark Hughes, president of BT Security


About BT

BT is one of the world’s leading providers of communications services and solutions, serving customers in more than 170 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to its customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband, TV and internet products and services; and converged fixed/mobile products and services.BT consists principally of five lines of business: BT Global Services, BT Business, BT Consumer, BT Wholesale and Openreach.

For the year ended 31 March 2014, BT Group’s reported revenue was £18,287m with reported profit before taxation of £2,312m.

British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group.BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York.

For more information, visit

BT Security

BT Security is building on 70 years’ experience of helping organisations around the globe and across all sectors get ahead of the threat curve and reduce the uncertainty and complexity of security. We provide an end-to-end capability to help organisations enjoy higher levels of security at a time when security budgets are not keeping pace with the threat landscape.

The sophistication of our security operations means that we think about the assets, the people, and the processes, and combine these with both network and security intelligence to help our customers stay ahead of the security risks. BT Security protects both BT and its customers. These customers are advised by a global team of 1,300 security practitioners, 600 global security specialists and a professional services team of approximately 4,000. The BT Security Assure portfolio covers:

  • Assure Managed Firewall
  • Assure Web Security
  • Assure Intrusion Prevention
  • Assure Message Scan
  • Assure Denial of Service Mitigation
  • Assure Cyber
  • Assure Managed Cloud
  • Assure Threat Monitoring
  • Assure Vulnerability Scanning

To find out more about BT Security, visit our site.

About the research

This research was undertaken by Vanson Bourne in September and October 2014 on behalf of BT. A total of 640 interviews with IT decision makers from large sized organizations (1000+ employees) were carried out across 11 regions: Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Middle East, Singapore, Spain, South Africa, UK and USA. Respondents’ organizations were from the financial, retail and public sectors.

About Vanson Bourne

Vanson Bourne is an independent specialist in market research for the technology sector. Their reputation for robust and credible research-based analysis, is founded upon rigorous research principles and their ability to seek the opinions of senior decision makers across technical and business functions, in all business sectors and all major markets. For more information, visit

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Please contact Alan Ball, Head of Global PR.