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Risky mobile messaging policies rampant, study finds


February 23, 2016  


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A study by Infinite Convergence Solutions, Inc. released at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona has found that enterprises across retail, legal, healthcare and finance industries allow employees to use third-party consumer messaging apps to communicate with and send documents to colleagues, clients or customers and external partners or stakeholders.

Upwards of 44% of employees regularly use mobile messaging throughout the workday, with SMS/MMS, Facebook Messenger, Skype and Google Chat/Hangouts being the most popular chat apps used. Only 17% say their company has and uses an internal, company-created mobile messaging app the most.

“Third-party messaging apps, especially those that are primarily for consumer use, do not have the necessary security regulations in place to protect sensitive or classified business information,” said Anurag Lal, CEO of Infinite Convergence. “Instead of implementing an enterprise-grade platform, employers are allowing their employees to use the apps they’re most familiar with from personal use, which risks information being compromised.”

Across various industries, employers are not implementing official mobile messaging platforms to regulate and secure employee communication. According to the study, 54% of retail employees, 51% of healthcare employees, 44 % of legal employees and 38% of finance employees say their company does not have an official mobile messaging platform. However, 84% of employees would use a company-wide mobile messaging platform if one was implemented.

Additional findings across these industries include:

Retail

  • 48% of respondents believe that most of their business correspondence is secure in third-party messaging apps
  • 46% say their company has an official mobile messaging platform; of these, 25 % say the official platform is Skype; 16 % say it’s Google Chat and 13 % say it’s Facebook Messenger
  • 37% say mobile messaging is their default method for communication

 

Healthcare

  • 92% of respondents would use a company-wide mobile messaging platform if their company decided to implement one
  • 24% say their company has an internal, company-created mobile messaging app
  • Message security is the number one concern when using mobile messaging

Legal

  • 33% say their company recommends certain third-party mobile messaging platforms, including iMessage, Skype and Google Chat as the most popular
  • 13% say their company prohibits third-party messaging apps
  • Lack of paper trail is the number one concern when using mobile messaging

Finance

  • 23% of respondents think mobile messaging is the most secure method of business communication
  • 8% prefer not to use mobile messaging apps for work communication
  • 67% say an official mobile messaging platform would make communication at their job easier

Overall, the study found that employees across industries are frequently in communication with colleagues, clients or customers and partners or stakeholders via a range of mobile devices:

 

  • 46% of employees are within arm’s reach of their mobile phone seven to eight hours within an eight-hour work day
  • 43% communicate with colleagues, external partners/stakeholders and clients/customers seven days a week
  • 37% communicate with someone internationally at their job every day

“Our study suggest that employees are increasingly using mobile messaging to communicate at work, but they’re receiving mixed signals on the dangers associated with third-party messaging apps,” said Lal. “Many of them are aware that consumer apps are not secure, but their employers are not providing an official, compliant platform for their use. Enterprises across industries need to realize that a secure, internal mobile messaging platform is crucial to increase efficiency, maintain compliance and secure communication.”


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