The enormous popularity of the iPad and other tablet devices signals a significant shift in how employees access sensitive information. IThe analyst firm IDC recently raised its forecast for the number of tablets that will be shipped this year by 17 percent, from 53.5 million to 62.5 million (click here to read the IDC press release). That’s in marked contrast to its gloomy forecast for PC shipments, which it predicts will grow by less than three percent this year. This signals a new trend for IT professionals, who are under increasing pressure to enable employees to use their tablets for business purposes. Symantec conducted an informal poll on its Facebook page, asking followers if they use their tablets for business use and what, if any, security measures are in place to prevent data loss. The answers were both alarming and not terribly surprising: 100 percent are using their tablets for business, and a significant majority (63 percent) acknowledges that doing so somewhat or significantly decreases security. However, most are not following security best practices to protect sensitive and confidential information. Helping our customers strike that balance between letting employees use their tablets for business without sacrificing security is the driving force behind an announcement we will make October 4th at our annual Vision Barcelona conference.
Archive for September, 2011
A few figures released over the last week paint a dismal picture of the state of information protection in the healthcare industry. More than 20,000 patient medical records were exposed in yet another hospital data breach. A report from the Health and Human Services Department (HHS) found that more than 7.8 million people had their medical information compromised in more than 30,500 breaches since the enactment of HITECH , while a report from the Digital Forensics Association shows that disclosure of health industry data breaches has increased markedly during this same timeframe.
By the numbers, it would seem that the healthcare industry is in crisis when it comes to protecting patient data, and it’s costing them. According to the Ponemon Institute 2011 U.S. Cost of a Data Breach study, sponsored by Symantec, health data breaches cost $301 per lost record, which is 40 percent higher than average. Contributing to the higher cost is compliance with data protection regulations that requires health organizations to do more to find, disclose and fix breach-related problems. In addition to disclosure laws in 49 states, healthcare organizations also must comply with HIPAA and HITECH.
An end user survey on personal and business tablet trends
Like smartphones before them, tablet devices are making their way into the enterprise whether IT wants them or not. They are yet another tool that keeps us connected both personally and professionally.
What’s unique about tablets is that they give us greater computing power on a smaller device that can be just as effective as a desktop or laptop computer. Tablets certainly increase worker productivity, but they can cause headaches for IT departments. Particularly, the comingling of our personal and corporate data is not without risk.
Symantec has developed a short survey to get tablet end users’ perspectives on this trend in business computing. We’d like to learn more about how you use your tablet for work, for personal use and how your employer is managing the growing use of tablets. The quick three minute survey can be found here.
Recently a friend of mine lost her smartphone. She sent out a message to all her friends in her social network about how she wouldn’t have a phone for a few days. She also did the right thing and went to her mobile carrier and reported it lost, turning the service off. Unfortunately though she wasn’t using any smartphone feature to find her phone or remote wipe it. But at least she was able to make sure it had no access to rack up her phone bill.
All good right?
Unfortunately, her smartphone did not require a passcode to access the apps. Ugh. I asked her about this and she replied back that it was no big deal because she didn’t have any really private information on there, and if so, the phone had no 3g access anymore to send anything off of it. Also her password would be required to sync the data off of it.