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Employees Shopping with Mobile Devices Pose Security Risk

Mobile Commerce
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Mobile Commerce

With holiday shopping season upon us, it's a good guess your employees aren't just working when they're at work — they're increasingly shopping in the office. A new study by ISACA reveals just how much.

The 2011 ISACA Shopping on the Job Survey found that nearly one-third (32 percent) of people who will shop online this holiday season will do so using either a mobile device provided by their employers, or their own device they also use for work purposes (sometimes called a BYOD, or "bring your own device"). That's 15 percent more than those who planned to shop with work devices last year. And we're not talking chump change: These shoppers admit they will spend an average of 18 hours shopping online with work devices.

Why it matters to your business: Employees shopping online with mobile devices means security risks, since these devices are often more vulnerable to hacks, viruses and the like.

How can you protect yourself, short of becoming Ebenezer Scrooge and prohibiting online shopping altogether (not likely to happen)? ISACA recommends starting by making employees aware of the risks — many may not realize they're exposing your business to problems. Next, try enabling security features such as passwords and encryption and making sure devices are up-to-date with the most current operating systems and updates installed.

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