Canadian Underwriter

Apathy towards device security key cyber risk: Kaspersky

October 19, 2017   by Canadian Underwriter

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A reliance on mobile devices and apathy towards device security have been highlighted as key cybersecurity impact areas in Kaspersky Lab’s latest Kaspersky Cybersecurity Index.

The index, an aggregate of indicators reflecting changes in online behavior, found that in the first half of 2017, consumers are increasingly going mobile, older Internet users face a growing number of online hazards and there has been an increase in the proportion of consumers who lack security protection on their devices.

The Kaspersky Cybersecurity Index is based on the results of online surveys of Internet users around the world, conducted twice a year by Kaspersky. In the first half of 2017, the survey was taken by 21,081 users aged 16 or older from 32 countries, including, among others, the United States, Mexico, Brazil, South Africa, Italy, France, Belarus, Russia, Japan, Singapore, Indonesia and Australia.

One of the key findings of the research is that Internet users are more frequently using mobile devices for their online activities, rather than desktop or laptop computers, cybersecurity company Kaspersky said in a press release on Wednesday, when the study was released. For example, 67% of polled Internet users access email from their mobile devices, an increase from the 59% reported in the second half of 2016. Consequently, 78% of those surveyed access their email account from a computer, down from 87% in the previous six months. In addition, the amount of people using their mobile devices for online shopping has also grown to 50%, up from 41% in the previous six months, Kaspersky added in the release.

The report also highlighted how older Internet users (aged 55 or older) found themselves at higher risk in the first half of this year. While only 12% of older users reported that they had faced an online threat in H2 2016, 19% of these users were targeted in H1 2017, most of whom reported that they had encountered some type of malware.

In addition, the index found that more consumers are not using any kind of security solution on their devices. In the second half of 2016, 39% of respondents had not protected all their devices with a security solution; in the most recent index, even more polled consumers (41%) admitted that they have no security protection at all. “This may be due to increased mobile device usage, as people tend to leave mobile devices unprotected more often than computers,” Kaspersky suggested in the release.

“Irrespective of people’s age and occupation, the focus of their digital lives is increasingly shifting onto mobile devices – people trust them with their secrets, files, confidential information, money and many other things,” said Andrei Mochola, head of consumer business at Kaspersky. “However, cybercriminals are also shifting their tactics and are increasingly attacking mobile platforms. It is therefore imperative that modern smartphones and tablets be as protected as our computers.”