Almost Half of All Government Employees Put Agencies at Risk via Mobile Usage

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Mobile Work Exchange and Cisco recently announced the results of a study, "The 2014 Mobilometer Tracker: Mobility, Security, and the Pressure In Between," which found that 41 percent of government employees surveyed are putting themselves and their agencies at risk through their mobile habits.

The survey of 155 individual government employees and 30 government agencies found that 90 percent of government employees use at least one mobile device for work -- and while 86 percent lock their computer when away from the desk and 78 percent always store files in a secure location, 31 percent admit that they use public Wi-Fi, 52 percent fail to use multifactor authentication or data encryption, and 25 percent fail to use passwords on mobile devices for work.

More than one in four government employees haven't received mobile security training from their agencies, and only 50 percent of respondents say their agencies have formal, employee-focused mobile device programs.

"In the near future, the number of mobile devices will exceed the world's population, and by 2017, we expect more than 10 billion connected mobile devices," Cisco vice president Larry Payne said in a statement [PDF]. "With the proliferation of devices, security continues to be a major concern. The 2014 Mobilometer Tracker study shows that six percent of government employees who use a mobile device for work say they have lost or misplaced their phone. In the average Federal agency, that's more than 3,500 chances for a security breach."