The Threats of Cybersecurity to Missing Employee Devices

October 13, 2022

Written by Khalid Alzubi

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month and in 2022, it is more important than ever to be vigilant. Research shows that data breaches this year cost U.S companies an average of $9.44 million per incident. Most notably, in a cyber attack on back in January, hackers stole a combined $33 million worth of assets from users. Over the past 2 years, overall cybercrime has gone up 600 percent. It is hard to ignore the fact that the exponential rise in cybersecurity attacks coincides with a time when we are most reliant on our devices.

While precautionary measures are also more advanced than ever before, businesses’ reliance on mobile technologies has become a huge target for hackers. Approximately 36% of organizations reported data loss and system crash incidents in 2021 due to cyber attacks. To make matters worse, cybersecurity issues are expected to cost businesses worldwide about $10.5 trillion a year by 2025. For companies already investing millions of dollars in their mobile systems and devices, these numbers pose a grave threat to operations and bottom lines. 

To reduce costs and increase employee satisfaction, many organizations have begun implementing a bring your own device (BYOD) policy where employees are able to use their personal devices to perform work tasks. However, these policies can accelerate the issues of cybersecurity. By decentralizing these enterprise systems, there are more areas for exploitation by cyber attackers. Even in the policy’s more nascent stage, 48% of companies that have enacted this policy report that they’ve detected malware on employees’ personal phones. 

Companies in industries like retail, wholesale, and warehousing have stayed true to the traditional use of handheld devices, encouraging employees to use company devices during their shifts and keep their phones strictly for personal use. However, the management behind these devices is often disorganized and can leave the company vulnerable to cyber attacks through employee carelessness and mistakes. Devices that are left out on the floor or not securely stored away can be easily taken or infiltrated by malicious guests and can then have access to sensitive company or even customer information.  A report from the National Institute of Standards and Technology writes simply that, “The devices’ mobile nature makes them much more likely to be lost or stolen than other devices, so their data is at increased risk of compromise”. The likelihood of this loss and the fact that these devices are programmed with enterprise applications and corporate data has caused a significant amount of concern, especially given that these devices are exposed to the public.

The issue gets even more complicated with devices that take consumers’ credit card information, which are becoming much more popular, particularly in retail and wholesale. While these mobile Point-Of-Sale (POS) systems offer increased flexibility, efficiency, and convenience, the Payment Card Industry (PCI) has issued a strict set of policies and procedures (DSS) around these assets, making it imperative to effectively manage and secure these pivotal devices. 

Source: IT Security Risks Survey 2017, global data

With the dangers of cybersecurity perpetually threatening the way we do business, organizations around the globe are in desperate need of device organization, management, and security, which has been a driving force behind our team’s innovations. The problems surrounding device security speak for themselves and there are very few solutions that seek to solve the issue. ARC was thoughtfully designed to help combat user error by offering increased accountability so employees will take care not to lose their devices. As seen in the chart above, 46% of organizations report the physical loss of those devices leading to cybersecurity breaches as one of their biggest fears. Our secure locker system also helps manage and track assets which is essential in complying with PCI-DSS security requirements. 

Keeping devices secure is a huge concern for businesses and is becoming more important. For such an integral part of an organization’s operations to face a threat of this scale, there needs to be a more intentional approach to reducing the risk of cybersecurity attacks. With ARC’s secure lockers and management system, device safety can be one less thing you have to worry about when running a business. Protect your investments and your organization’s security by taking the right measures now to avoid the threat of data loss, system crash incidents, and many more problems.