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Enterprises Lack Mobile Device Visibility, Posing Great Risk

More than half of organizations are flying blind when it comes to access security.

According to a recent survey from Duo Security and TechValidate, 57% of IT administrators say that they have zero visibility into what devices are accessing their networks.

This is a glaring oversight for organizations, which can prevent most data breaches by identifying and mitigating out-of-date and unsecured employee devices—PCs, Macs, tablets, smartphones—that access their networks. These devices unfortunately often run outdated browsers, plugins and operating systems, posing a significant security threat for their employers.

Duo Labs, the research team at Duo Security, for instance discovered that 80% of personal devices use Flash, which bring more than 300 vulnerabilities with it. Also, about a third (32%) of employees are using outdated versions of Internet Explorer, which have more than 160 new vulnerabilities discovered in just the last three years.

And, almost a full quarter (22%) of personal devices have outdated versions of Java, which has more than 250 known vulnerabilities.

Each vulnerability has the power to open organizations to attacks that can lead to breaches. These result in confidential data leaks, damage to brand reputation, financial losses, and a decay in customer trust.

Duo noted that traditional solutions to the problem, such as endpoint vulnerability management and mobile device management (MDM) products, require agents installed on each and every employee device. This can be problematic in terms of keeping track and ensuring that employees install the software on any personal devices they may use.

“Agents are a pain for administrators to manage,” said Ash Devata, vice president of product at Duo.

A better way is to make use of reporting and policy capabilities that allow security and IT professionals to identify personal devices accessing their networks, along with which operating systems, browsers, Flash and Java editions are most at risk of causing a data breach, he added.

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