Mobile security incidents, such as lost smartphones, are costing large businesses an average of $429,000 a year as a result of direct financial expenses, loss of data and brand damage, according to new study by security firm Symantec.
The figures were released as part of Symantec's State of Mobility Survey 2012 and found that, despite the recognised risks, firms are making wholesale shifts towards mobility.
Mobile devices were categorised as a top-three IT risk by more than 40 per cent of the 6,200 IT decision makers Symantec surveyed.
“This cultural change from refusing mobile devices not long ago, to actively distributing and developing mobile applications, has introduced a new set of challenges and complexities for IT staff,” said CJ Desai, a senior vice president at Symantec's endpoint and mobility group.
Lost revenue and loss of customer trust accounted for the largest losses incurred by firms as a result their mobility strategies, Symantec reported.
A third of firms also reported that mobile computing had also resulted in a loss of productivity – though this likely the short-term impact of losing a vital device, rather than mobile devices making workers less productive.
The report also highlighted that 71 per cent of firms are now exploring the idea of implementing a corporate store for mobile apps.
Many of the tech industries security vendors have been keen to highlight the risks facing mobile devices, as malware writers shift the focus of their attention.
But as Symantec's survey shows, perhaps the greatest threat to organisations comes from staff that lose their mobile devices, rather than having them compromised by attackers.
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