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April 17, 2015

Transport for London Doubles Mobile Tablet Use, Freedom of Information Request Reveals

More than 23,000 mobile devices issued to staff last year, a 48% increase in last five years

This week Veracode released figures obtained from Transport for London (TfL) which show that they have significantly ramped up the number of mobile tablet devices it issues to staff. For those readers who haven’t experienced the joy of the London commute, TfL are responsible for the trusty London tube along with the rail, bus and tram network.  

This data obtained from a Freedom of Information request by Veracode, shows the dramatic rise in tablets in the work place across the public and the private sector. Staff are reaping the benefits, however IT security teams are finding themselves under increasing pressure to introduce measures which cover this expanded security perimeter.

We found out from the research that TfL issued 3,500 tablet devices last year which is nearly twice the number supplied in 2012 (1,766). On top of this the number of mobile phones issued to staff rose by nearly a third over the past five years, with laptop distribution also up 14 percent over the same period.

Veracode was able to examine TfL’s mobile device usage since 2010 and found that total mobile device distribution reached 23,459 last year, a 48 percent increase from 2010 when 15,935 devices were issued.

Companies of all industries are turning to mobile devices in the workplace, and in TfL’s case equipping workers with the latest mobile devices can help improve commuter experience and streamline day-to-day administrative activity across London’s vast transport infrastructure.

However, while TfL is leading the way in embracing the latest technologies, it should also ensure that rigorous security measures are put in place to reduce risk from mobile malware and unsafe applications. 

Cybercriminals are relentlessly targeting mobile applications to steal sensitive data and spy on mobile users. As a result, it is now becoming a best practice for organisations to implement mobile device management (MDM) systems – powered by continuously-updated security intelligence about unsafe and malicious mobile apps – to enforce security and privacy policies on their employee’s devices in order to keep cyberattackers out.

Learn how you can detect malicious or risky apps that are already on your employees’ phone: watch the webinar.

Recent research by Veracode that analysed hundreds of thousands of mobile applications installed in actual corporate environments revealed a host of security issues were rampant, such as mobile applications exposing sensitive corporate and personal data including SIM card information such as phone location, call history, phone contacts, SMS message logs, device IDs and carrier information.

We welcome TfL’s commitment to mobile investment and advise that any enterprise taking similar steps should put in place robust security measures to reduce the risk associated with their now significantly expanded attack surface. 

Lizzie Clitheroe is Veracode's EMEA Marketing Manager, where she is responsible for market development across EMEA. Lizzie has a keen interest in cyber security, developed in previous marketing management roles at leading information security services provider, Dell SecureWorks; with a more recent focus on application security with Veracode.

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