The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is one of the countries where businesses may be at the greatest risk of falling victim to mobile cyber security breaches as the result of poor user practices, a new survey has found.
A study by Aruba Networks named the UAE as among the nations where user behaviour poses the greatest threats to a business' safety, along with as China and Thailand.
What these locations have in common is they are all emerging, high-growth markets, which Aruba suggested indicates that risk-taking is linked to increased growth and opportunities for businesses.
The study noted this conclusion is supported by the fact that more stable, developed markets are the least prone to cyber security risk, with users in the UK, the US and Sweden among the best at staying safe.
A common issue identified by the survey is that in today's mobile-focused environment, the sharing of devices and information has become the norm, with workers often not considering the security implications that may arise as a result.
It found that six out of ten respondents share their work and personal devices with others on a regular basis. However, nearly a fifth of employees don't have passwords on devices, with 22 per cent of those stating they don't have security measures in place so that they can share more easily.
Younger people, who may be more familiar and comfortable with using mobile gadgets to share data, are also more likely to inadvertently cause data breaches. Aruba described these individuals as '#GenMobile' due to their reliance on these devices.
Respondents over the age of 55 were found to be half as likely to experience identity theft or loss of personal/client data compared with younger employees. The age bracket with the highest risk of data and identity theft are employees between 25-34 years old.
Other problems may arise because workers do not understand their responsibilities when it comes to keeping data safe, or if they deliberately ignore policies put in place by IT departments.
Over half of workers (56 per cent) said they are willing to disobey their boss in order to get something done, while 77 per cent are willing to perform self-service IT.
Meanwhile, security is often not a high priority when workers are looking to purchase their own gadgets - something that may be particularly worrying for businesses that are running a bring your own device policy.
The protections devices may have only rated fifth on a list of priorities, behind factors such as operating system and brand. And almost nine out of ten respondents (87 per cent) assumed their IT departments would keep them safe, so they did not have to worry about this.
Ammar Enaya, general manager of Aruba Networks Middle East, commented: "Organisations in the Middle East should strive to build a secure and operational framework for all workers, rather than stifle them. These trends underline that #GenMobile employees continue to be a growing part of the everyday workforce, but they also bring with them some risky behaviours."
As well as educating workers on their responsibilities, having the right security solutions in place is vital to protecting threats, whichever part of an enterprise network they are aimed at. Innovations from Encode, supported by IBM QRadar, can provide companies will all the tools they need to keep their entire ecosystem safe from data breaches.