Mobile shopping

Despite the growth of online fraud and increases in cybersecurity risks, retailers and service providers in the hospitality segment are continuing to fail in protecting consumer data, according to the latest Verizon Mobile Security Index report. Researchers found that one-third of respondents “knowingly sacrifice mobile security to improve speed to market and business performance.”

Thomas T.J. Fox, senior vice president of the wireless business group at Verizon, said in the report that according to the company’s research, “many companies haven’t taken even the most basic precautions to protect their data and core systems. This is alarming since the danger of cyber attacks continues to grow. Many factors make mobile devices an appealing target: there are more of them (including IoT devices), they have access to more data and they are now critical to business operations.”

The lack of mobile cybersecurity precautions is realized as companies admit there is a moderate risk of threats. Verizon said 85 percent of those polled said “their businesses face at least a moderate risk from mobile security threats” while 26 percent described it as a “significant risk.” And 74 percent said that the risks associated with mobile devices “have increased in the past year” while “just 1 percent said they had gone down.”

In the retail and hospitality segments of the market, authors of the report said that 29 percent of respondents “put employees at the top of their potential breach source lists — more than any other industry surveyed.” And 82 percent of companies in the sector “see mobile devices as a risk, especially given the high number of employees, many of which are often part-time and may not take security as seriously as permanent employees.”

Of those polled who are in retail and hospitality, 16 percent “report experiencing a mobile-related incident, with 15 percent reporting a major incident with lasting repercussions.” Verizon said the 67 percent of retailers “were concerned with customer data being compromised, more so than any other industry.” And 62 percent of respondents across each industry “feel a lack of understanding of threats and solutions are a barrier to mobile security.”

For more business news from WWD, see:

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