Despite IT managers' worries, smartphone users do not consider security when choosing carriers

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Smartphone security is a major concern of IT managers as they struggle to deal with the BYOD trend.

Yet, security does not appear to be a big concern of smartphone users. Only 5 percent of users would switch carriers because of inadequate security protections, yet 63 percent would switch because of high fees, according to a survey of 1,000 smartphone users in the U.S., U.K. and Germany conducted by Opinion Matters on behalf of security firm Crossbeam.

At the same time, three-quarters of smartphone users would consider switching carriers once their phone was hacked, according to a survey. If their smartphones were hacked, 55 percent of respondents said they would consider changing their carriers and 19 percent would definitely change carriers.

"Smartphone users, like most people, don't think about the security of their devices until they've been hacked. This may be misleading mobile network operators to focus less of their attention on customer security and underestimate the risk it creates. There is an inadequate level of investment in security compared to other areas of the mobile network," said Peter Doggart, senior director of global marketing at Crossbeam.

A full 42 percent of U.S. users and 38 percent of U.K. users would blame their carrier if their smartphones were hacked, regardless of who was at fault. Only 22 percent of U.S. users and 18 percent of U.K. users would blame the handset manufacturer.

"The results indicate that mobile network providers will be blamed, regardless of who's at fault," Doggart said.

The results of the survey should concern IT managers because they show a lack of awareness about security among smartphone users, who apparently do not consider themselves responsible for security breaches. This lack of awareness opens up the enterprise to all sorts of security risks when those users bring their smartphones to the workplace.

For more:
- see Crossbeam release

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