I read a recent study made by Trend Micro researchers, and - as you might have guessed - things are not too great when it comes to mobile users' security. The study concerned users from 4 countries: Japan, Germany,
UK and the US, all being known for their high level of technology. Also, all of these 4 have recently come into our attention, Japan for having some great hackers, Germany for its ministries recently suffering cyber-attacks, the UK for having security problems and the US for being the world leader in spam.
The study indicates that Japanese corporate end users (both desktop and mobile) are more likely than users elsewhere to send confidential info to colleagues or business partners through instant messages or web-mail.
In the US, 58 percent of respondents who have access to the Internet outside the company network via company laptops admitted to sending confidential information by web-mail.
Also, as the same study shows, German, English and American mobile users are also more likely than desktop users to engage in risky online behavior while on the company network. The responses coming from Japan were exactly vice-versa, but in any case, this does not sound too good when it comes to security!
"Risky behavior by mobile workers is increasing the challenge for IT administrators and security specialists," said Raimund Genes, Trend Micro CTO for anti-malware. "Mobile workers may often be unaware of the risk they pose to the corporate network and that their behavior is increasing the risk to corporate security. Of particular concern to our customers is the admission by users to having sent confidential information over tools such as Instant Messenger. The pervasive use of the Web combined with the complexity of protecting against Web threats creates possibly the greatest challenge to corporate security in a decade."
Indications also suggest that mobile users are often more technically savvy and better educated regarding esoteric security threats such as pharming and phishing, as I understood from Trend Micros's research.