According to a new report by Osterman Research, and sponsored by Trend Micro, while cloud and mobile device usage have increased within small and medium sized businesses, so too has malware and data security threats. The survey found that about 52.1% of devices (e.g., desktop computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones) used by employees were infected annually with malware. In any given month, about 4.3% of devices were infected.
The report found that the malware has become more serious, with more versions, a short life, had target specific mobile devices (e.g., devices running the Android operating system) ,and had targeted businesses in specific countries that perform online banking.
The researchers found the costs to businesses were substantial. Information technology (I.T.) departments spent on average 72 minutes per device to remove the malware and fix the infected computer. The direct I.T. staff cost was about $2,400 per device per year. And, those costs don't include the lost employee productivity.
The data breaches from this malware can lead to theft of money, trade secrets, or the sensitive personal information of employees, former employees, and contractors. Criminals try to infect employees' devices with keystroke-logging malware to steal online bank account passwords. The report listed some of the company data breaches where businesses were robbed in this manner:
- Western Beaver County School District: $700,000
- The Catholic Diocese of Des Moines: $600,000
- Hillary Machinery: $800,000 (its bank was able to recover only $600,000)
- Patco: $588,000
- Experi-Metal, Inc.: $560,000
- Village View Escrow: $465,000
- An unidentified construction company in California: $447,000
- Choice Escrow: $440,000
- An unidentified solid waste management company in New York: $150,000
- An unidentified law firm in South Carolina: $78,421
So, if you work in a small or medium sized business that performs online banking, you can assume that identity thieves and criminals have targeted your employer and, most likely, your mobile device.