Have you ever lost a cell phone? You are not alone. In 2011, U.S. consumers lost more than $30 billion worth of cell phones, according to mobile security provider Lookout.
Lookout just released the findings of its first-ever phone loss study. And the results are disturbing for enterprises concerned about mobile security. Lost phones, if unrecovered, could cost U.S. consumers more than $30 billion in 2012.
"Each day, $7 million worth of phones are lost by Lookout users alone, and if unrecovered, it would take a significant toll not only on our wallets, but on our psyche too," said Kevin Mahaffey, co-founder and CTO Lookout. "Safeguarding your smartphone starts with protecting it from the number one risk you face -- losing it."
Mobile Device Management?
Based on more than 15 million users, Lookout's analysis found that demographics and behavior are the largest factors influencing phone loss. Over the course of 2011, Lookout located 9 million lost smartphones, which equals one phone every 3.5 seconds. In total, Lookout found that U.S. consumers lose their phone about once a year. If unrecovered, that could cost every smartphone owner more than $250 a year each.
"The concept of Mobile Device Management is inherently flawed. I am not controlling the device. What I need to do is put a container out there that's encrypted, stuff everything in it and if it gets lost make sure there are no authentication credentials in it that can penetrate the container. Erase the container and it all goes," said Michael Disabato, managing vice president of network and telecom at Gartner.
"If it's a BYOD all you are touching is the container and you get rid of all the enterprise information leaving the employee's information alone. If the phone gets stolen, you can then do a device reset and erase everything and give employees some peace of mind that everything is gone. So the whole concept is managing the data and it doesn't matter who owns the device."
3 Billion More Mobile Devices Coming
Infonetics forecasts that more than 3 billion new mobile devices -- smartphones and tablets -- will ship between 2011 and 2015, and these devices are truly changing the way people work, and blurring the lines between personal and corporate assets.
"A new wave of mobile devices are being connected to corporate networks, like it or not, and many companies are embracing BYOD (bring your own device) strategies to decrease capital cost and increase productivity," says Jeff Wilson, principal analyst for security atInfonetics Research.
"The enterprise mobile device security market is poised to explode for one simple reason: all over the world, employees are replacing desktops and laptops with smartphones and tablets, and IT departments are scrambling to connect those devices and then protect them. Success selling security solutions in this space is really about two things: allowing an IT department to connect all the devices they want or need to connect, and providing a consistent level of security policy and enforcement for all those devices."