The “Panama Papers” of mobile leaks

mobile-leak-report-2017

In April 2016, 11.5 million sensitive documents were leaked in what became known as the Panama Papers scandal. These documents exposed an alarming array of sensitive data, revealing a number of controversial and confidential pieces of information in 2016. This report, while not as far-reaching in scope, explores a similar theme. Researchers at Wandera have uncovered more than 200 well-known and reputable digital services that have exposed sensitive consumer and enterprise information. Mobile is well and truly the new frontier for data security, as this analysis reveals.

Introduction

Most CIOs are not so naive as to think that work-assigned smartphones are used exclusively for professional purposes. However, as is often the case, the extent to which these devices are used for recreational activities may startle a significant number of mobility leaders. The reality is that content such as video, news, entertainment and social media is among the most popular uses of corporate devices.

Despite the differences between perception and reality, where and how data allowances are being consumed is not the principle focus of this report. The emphasis is instead on where mobile data security risks are coming from, and why. Understanding this in the context of how heavily these services are used is critical to comprehending the extent of data leak threats in 2017.

This report will show that for certain categories of apps and websites, security and compliance risks are actually far more formidable threats than previously thought. The key message is not that enterprises should be planning their 2017 mobile security strategy by limiting access to wholesale categories of domains or apps.

This is impractical and would undermine the entire essence of enterprise mobility and potentially cause dissatisfaction in the workforce. Instead, this report highlights how varied threat vectors are and how many categories of apps and sites are affected – in fact, almost all of them. The most practical response for executive teams is to routinely monitor the data that flows to and from each individual device, identify potential security gaps and dynamically respond through policy actions that help to manage the risk while simultaneously ensuring that employees stay productive.

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