Christmas Presents Threaten Your Business, Warns EY

January hangovers could be the least of CSOs’ headaches, according to a new warning from Ernst & Young on the threat employees’ Christmas gadget gifts pose.

Companies that lack properly protected networks and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies could be opening the door for hackers targeting newly purchased smartphones and tablets from the holiday season, according to professional services firm Ernst & Young (EY).

A recent report from Kindsight security labs revealed a rise in mobile malware throughout 2014. Last year saw 15 million mobile devices infected, and the director of Cybercrime Investigations at EY, Massimo Cortozzi, claims this number is showing no signs of shrinking over the coming months.

A lousy gift

“We are only in the first few days of 2015,” he said, “but we are already seeing issues with companies leaving themselves exposed to this phenomenon.

“The new smart mobile/tablet and wearable tech that employees bring into the office could be now connecting via the corporate wireless networks to external cloud systems which, in the best case, have not been appropriately protected, let alone tested.”

Santa securityMassimo has called for businesses to take a pro-active approach to cybersecurity, investing financially in the area and monitoring threats before they can do any damage.

His advice comes off the back off the latest Global Information Security Survey from EY, which revealed that while 84 percent of companies consider mobile security a medium/high priority area, only 41 percent suggested they would increase their spending to cover the threat.

“Businesses also need to be prepared for when the worst occurs and have a clear strategy to respond to and clean up after an attack,” Massimo warned.

“Employees must understand how to preserve evidence left by the perpetrators and must also establish contingencies to deliver an instant response to reassure customers and prevent reputational damage.”

How much do you know about mobile tech? Take our quiz!