About this report

Mobile Security Index
2021 Report

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  • Terminology

    Throughout this report, when we refer to companies, businesses or organizations, we include both public- and private-sector entities of all sizes. We use the term “enterprise” to refer to organizations with 500 or more employees and “small and medium-sized businesses” (SMBs) for those with fewer.

  • Security terms like “attack” and “breach” are often used interchangeably. For clarity and precision, we have used the following definitions throughout this report:

    • Attack
      A general term covering any deliberate action toward a system or data that is unauthorized. This may be as simple as attempting to access it without permission.

    • Compromise
      A successful attack that results in a system’s defenses being rendered ineffective. This could involve data loss, downtime, other systems being affected or no detrimental effects at all. It could be malicious or accidental.

    • Data breach
      An incident that results in the confirmed disclosure—not just potential exposure—of data to an unauthorized party.

    • Exploit
      A definition, often in the form of a script or code, of a method to successfully leverage one or more vulnerabilities to access a system without proper authorization.

    • Incident
      This covers any form of security event, malicious or not, successful or not. This could be anything from a failed authentication attempt to a successful compromise and data breach. It includes non-malicious events such as the loss of a device.

    • Risk
      A measure of the likelihood of a threat, an organization’s vulnerability to said event and the scale of the potential damage.

    • Threat
      Any danger that could impact the security of systems or privacy of data. This can apply to a technique, such as phishing, or an actor, such as an organized criminal group.

    • Vulnerability
      A weakness that could be exploited. It may be known or unknown— to the manufacturer, developer, owner or the world.
  • We contracted an independent research company to survey senior professionals responsible for the procurement, management and security of mobile devices. Respondents were invited to complete one of two variants of our survey, one focusing on mobile devices (including tablets, laptops enabled with cellular or Wi-Fi connectivity, and mobile phones) and one on IoT devices (such as connected wearables, smart building systems and fleet management systems).

    In total, 876 professionals responsible for the buying, managing and security of these devices responded. The charts below break down the demographics of these respondents.

    Our sample included both small companies and large enterprises. Company size was not a strong indicator for most of our questions. Unless stated otherwise, all data in this report is from this survey.

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  • Survey Methodology

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  • Unless stated otherwise, stats quoted in this report are from the mobile respondents.

    Partner contributions

    Details of the source of data and statistics supplied by our contributors are given in the next section.

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