Employees say they are more productive when they have mobile access to their email, apps and data on their tablets and smartphones.  But while they are busy using all of these devices, who is thinking about the company’s mobile security?

CEOs need to focus on mobile security because most employees are not, they are just accessing data.  IT professionals often try to reassure CEOs that their systems are “locked down”.  But using the extreme measure of” lock down” hampers employees effectiveness.

We have personally seen cases where employees work around secure systems to communicate, sharing sensitive data over non-secure devices because of their inability to work efficientlychargekey-plugged-in within the “lock down” environment.

Mobile security breaches are dangerous and expensive. Businesses need a mobile policy to protect against hackers and device loss.  If an employee’s smartphone or tablet is lost or stolen, does your business have a plan for wiping clean the sensitive data it contains?

Recent studies by Symantec,   estimate the cost of a mobile breach at more than $400,000 for an enterprise and more than $100,000 for a small business.  The biggest threat is uncontrolled data sharing.

So how can CEOS and CIO protect company data from mobile intrusion?  Begin with training IT professionals on mobile security best practices.  Mobile certification courses give IT teams the latest knowledge in critical mobile operations.

10 Questions CEOs Need to Ask CIOs about Mobile Security

  • Does our company have mobile goals?
  • Does our company have a mobile policy?
  • Is there a Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) policy?
  • Who is responsible for data breaches on BYOD devices?
  • Do employees know and understand the mobile policy?
  • Are our employees emailing others sensitive information on their personal mobile devices?
  • What information is our company sharing with board members on their mobile devices?
  • How is our IT department protecting data leakage on mobile devices?
  • Is our company using mobile apps or third party mobile apps?
  • How are mobile apps being secured?

Mobile device use is changing the way companies large and small do business.   And secure web connections aren’t enough anymore.

A Citrix report stated, “Unlike standard-issue, locked down PCs or tightly controlled Blackberry® devices, mobile devices into today’s companies are diverse, have varying levels of vulnerability and offer no consistent way for IT to manage even the most basic security like passcode enforcement.”

CEOs aren’t expected to know these answers on mobile security.  But they should be sure their IT professionals are properly trained and certified in the latest mobility security processes.

A CEO-CIO conversation is the first step.