Troubling business: end-users and financial threats

More than a half of mobile devices users carry out financial transactions on them, and roughly the same amount stumbled upon a financial threat recently. Yet, in most cases, there are no security solutions and/or passwords in place.

Another recent survey from Kaspersky Lab and B2B International shows a curious fact: Roughly half (46%) of the Web users believe traditional over-the-counter banking is safer than banking online, but at least one-in-five users don’t do enough to protect their financial data online.

That’s somewhat typical for end-users: to prefer the old ways of doing things, to feel uneasy and unsure about the newer ways, but still use both without caring about practical safety.

In fact, the survey from Kaspersky Lab and B2B International brings quite a few interesting stats showcasing users’ habits and approaches to handling their private and financial data, and while it covers the consumer sector mainly, there’s little reason to think these approaches are different in the workplace, where – in the worst possible cases – mistakes made out of bad habits can affect an entire business.

What the survey says

First of all, this isn’t a complete copy of the survey’s main findings. We have filtered out everything totally unrelated to business. So what are we left with?

Multi-device is becoming the leading trend:

  • 77% of respondents use multiple devices on different platforms
  • 27% prefer to access the Internet on mobile devices
  • Most users (92%) store sensitive information on all of their devices, including mobile devices

Not an unexpected trend: Demand for mobility is high and the offer is vast, so we have a lot of users who may have an Android-based tablet and an iOS-based smartphone (or vice versa), while also using a laptop – whether it is PC or Mac, doesn’t really matter. What does matter are the security measures not taken.

Fruitless worries

Users trust devices with data about their personal lives despite worrying about it, the survey shows.

  • 58% of respondents are concerned that their personal data may be stolen
  • 38% of respondents store highly sensitive information on their devices and are afraid that someone will see it

And what are they afraid of? Financial threats:

  • 80% of users carry out financial transactions, of which 40% use mobile devices for this
  • 43% of respondents have come across some kind of online financial threat with users of Apple devices being the most commonly affected
  • 75% of respondents believe that banks, payment systems, and online stores should provide them with special solutions for secure transactions on their endpoints

At the same time, how much do they do to protect themselves?

  • Just over half of computers on the OS X operating system and mobile devices on the Android platform were equipped with security solutions
  • Less than 80% of computers on OS X and Windows were password protected, and only 67% of smartphones and 57% of Android tablets had passwords
  • Only 38% of respondents take precautions when using free public Wi-Fi networks

Overall, more than a half of the mobile device users carry out financial transactions on them and roughly the same amount stumbled upon a financial threat recently. At the same time, in most cases, security solutions and/or passwords weren’t used. Three in four respondents think banks and payment systems, and even online stores, owe them special solutions for secure transactions – on the users’ endpoints.

Well, that’s a bit embarrassing. Banks and other financial organizations are willing to provide an extra layer of security for their users and often reimburse the funds lost to fraud. But should users expect banks and online shops to completely cover security solutions?

The reality is that people (i.e. end-users) do care about possible threats, but all too often this is an impractical “worry without consequences”, not followed with consistent efforts to ensure protection.

And businesses have to take this into consideration. Even if they aren’t involved with the financial sector themselves, they are most likely conducting financial operations online, and every unprotected device becomes a potential (intermediate) source of a threat for the entire organization.

The answer? A centralized security solution that covers every employee’s mobile device along with PCs, thus cutting off the threats.