Study: Use of Consumer Mobile Messaging Platforms Presents Risk for Enterprises
Study finds widespread use of consumer applications for mobile messaging across industries despite inherent risks
CHICAGO and BARCELONA , 22 February 2016 -- A study by Infinite Convergence Solutions, Inc., finds 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
Forty-four percent 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 percent 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 safeguards in place to protect sensitive or classified business information," said Anurag Lal, CEO of Infinite Convergence. "Instead of implementing an enterprise-grade platform, enterprises risk information being compromised by allowing their employees to use the apps they're most familiar with from personal use."
Unsecured mobile messaging is a threat across industries
Across various industries, employers are not implementing official mobile messaging platforms to secure and protect employee communication and sensitive business information. According to the study, 54 percent of retail employees, 51 percent of healthcare employees, 44 percent of legal employees and 38 percent of finance employees say their company does not have an official mobile messaging platform. However, 84 percent of employees would use a company-wide mobile messaging platform if one was implemented.
Additional findings across these industries include:
Message security is the primary concern cited regarding the use of mobile messaging for those in the healthcare industry:
- 92 percent of respondents would use a company-wide mobile messaging platform if their company decided to implement one
- Only 24 percent of respondents say their company has an internal, company-sanctioned mobile messaging app
Employers in the legal field are providing mixed messages on how to safely use mobile messaging in the workplace:
- 33 percent say their company recommends certain third-party mobile messaging platforms, including iMessage, Skype and Google Chat as the most popular
- 13 percent say their company prohibits third-party messaging apps
Respondents in Finance and Banking recognize the need and see value in a company sanctioned, secure mobile messaging platform provided for work communication:
- 67 percent say an official mobile messaging platform would make communication at their job easier
- 23 percent of respondents think mobile messaging is the most secure method of business communication
Retail employees fail to recognize the risks associated with using unsecured mobile messaging for work communication:
- 48 percent of respondents believe that most of their business correspondence is secure in third-party messaging apps
- 46 percent say their company has an official mobile messaging platform; of these, 25 percent say the official platform is Skype; 16 percent say it's Google Chat and 13 percent say it's Facebook Messenger
- 37 percent say mobile messaging is their default method for communication
Mobile Messaging is Pervasive in the Workplace
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 percent of employees are within arm's reach of their mobile phone seven to eight hours within an eight-hour work day
- 43 percent communicate with colleagues, external partners/stakeholders and clients/customers seven days a week
- 37 percent 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."
For more information about the study, visit the website with complete findings.
Infinite Convergence Solutions completed this study to provide enterprises in the financial, healthcare, retail and legal industries an improved understanding of their employees' mobile messaging habits and preferences. The company also launched the survey to understand how employees view their employers' mobile messaging policies.
Infinite Convergence launched the study via SurveyMonkey and surveyed 500 professionals within finance/banking, healthcare, retail and legal on their mobile messaging habits and behaviors. The study asked questions across a variety of topics, including business and personal communication habits and mobile messaging usage. Findings were evaluated based on demographic qualifier and response percentages were further evaluated on a quantitative scale.
About Infinite Convergence:
Infinite Convergence Solutions, Inc. provides next-generation messaging and mobility solutions to carriers and enterprises globally, including an Enterprise Messaging Services suite, secure messaging through its standalone app NetSfere and SMS, MMS and RCS solutions. The company's technology supports more than 500 million subscribers by sending nearly one trillion messages per year. Infinite Convergence Solutions is a subsidiary of Infinite Computer Solutions with offices in the United States, Germany, India and Singapore.
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