Digital Transformation

Smartphone popularity ‘increases risk of malware attack’

Firms might want to review their data backup plans.

The increasing popularity of smartphones in the office could put companies’ data at risk if they have not sorted out an offsite backup of their most sensitive information.

Independent IT security consultant Kevin Wharram highlighted the rise in malware attacks, particularly on the Android operating system, which could put businesses’ operations at risk from cyber criminals.

"If you can just hack into a bank and steal the money – that’s much easier [than physical attack]," he pointed out. "So online threats are going to increase [in general], because of the rising amount of people using data, having access to mobile phones and being willing to share data. A lot of people are willing to share their data and they don’t even realise what this data can be used for."

This risk is present even in companies where a lot of staff work remotely, as viruses can still be spread over networks. However, the benefits of shared services, such as cloud computing, far outweigh the risks, according to

Chief executive Stuart Hibbert noted that with the 2012 Olympics less than six months away, many firms will be investigating the advantages of cloud computing.

"Businesses are starting to look at flexible ways that they can actually allow their employees to work [remotely], possibly as a result of the Olympics, but also in terms of a new dawn of how people are expecting to work," he commented.

"We’re seeing that people want more access to information on-the-go through their smartphones and typically, we’re seeing a massive increase in expectations from out clients to support mobile platforms – in particular in terms of the iPhone and Android platforms."

As a result, companies might wish to review their data protection and compliance policies, as a loss of data could have a devastating impact on a small business.