Companies are opening their doors to hackers by failing to implement formal mobile security measures or employee awareness programmes, according to consultancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).
PwC made the claim based on the preliminary findings of its 2012 Information Security Breaches Survey, a combination of data from PwC, Infosecurity Europe and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
Based on the findings, PwC analysts warned that with companies failing to address the security threats from employee's' use of mobile and tablet devices, 82 per cent of large organisations are reporting that data breaches stemmed from staff mistakes.
"With the explosion of new mobile devices and the blurring of lines between work and personal life, organisations are opening their systems up to massive risk," said PwC analyst Chris Potter.
"Smartphones and tablet computers are often lost or stolen, with any data on them exposed. Mobile devices can drill straight through your security defences, if you're not careful."
The survey highlighted a lack of employee education on mobile security as a key reason for the trend, with only 54 per cent of small businesses and 38 per cent of large organisations having security awareness programmes in place.
Additionally, while 75 per cent of large organisations allow employees to connect their mobile devices to company networks, only 39 per cent encrypt the data stored on them.
Potter warned that hackers would continue to use mobile devices as a way into companies' networks so long as employees remained untrained on best practice for smartphone and tablet usage.
"One in seven organisations that give a high or very high priority to security haven't written down their policy; most of these are small businesses that rely on word of mouth instead, but only a third think their staff fully understands it," he said.
"Those companies that have invested in staff awareness training meanwhile are reaping the benefits - they are four times as likely to have staff who clearly understand the security policy and half as likely to have staff-related security breaches as organisations that don't train their staff."
The survey follows on from a research paper by IBM reporting that cyber criminals are developing new inventive ways to circumvent companies' security policies.
The report similarly highlighted a marked rise in the number of attacks targeting mobile devices.
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