GDPR is one of those subjects that you just can’t avoid at the moment no matter how hard you try. Much like Brexit and the World Cup, it’s happening whether you like it, hate it or are just plain indifferent.

And unlike the other subjects where you can at least switch off the TV or radio, GDPR is all over both e-mail and the internet. If you’re like me you’ve become accustomed to having your working day start with clearing out GDPR related/inspired messages from businesses and organisations you last had contact with sometime before the London Olympics.

Yet for all the media coverage, offers of webinars and the e-mail deluge, I’m still increasingly concerned about what GDPR could mean for businesses and organisations.

Here’s why.

Earlier this year we carried out some research with leading analyst house Ovum. We wanted to test out some of our ideas against the market and get a better feel for how large organisations were managing mobile. As part of this process 250 decision makers across all regions and industries were interviewed so the results are pretty robust.

Some of the results we’d predicted, such as organisations using mobility to boost both employee flexibility and productivity.

Some of the results surprised us, including how quickly some organisations are planning to implement both workplace wearables and augmented/virtual reality tools.

And some of the results we found were downright scary, like 40% of respondents saying they’re not really managing mobile at all.

Think about that for a minute – that’s two in every five organisations saying they don’t really have control of what their staff are doing with their mobiles.

Here’s what really worries me. A standard 32GB smartphone has enough space to store say 26 -28GB of content once you allow for the operating system. The complete works of Shakespeare – that’s all the plays and all the poems with 150 illustrations – can be compressed into just 0.01GB in digital format. You could add the complete works of Dickens to the same device and still only use another 0.01GB.

If the complete works of these two giants of English literature can be downloaded to your standard device and it barely touch the sides of the storage capacity, imagine how much sensitive corporate data could be walking around every day, potentially unsecured and exposed should the device be lost, stolen or maliciously used.

  • All your organisation’s customer data
  • All your organisation’s financial information and forecasts
  • All your employee’s personal data

My concern is that following the high-profile hacks of recent years, organisations are rightly focused on shoring-up the perimeter of their fixed network security. But the focus on the fixed network has led to the mobile dimension being neglected. It’s why we talk about putting a state of the art alarm system on the front door while leaving the back door wide open.

And GDPR makes no differentiation between fixed and mobile networks when it comes to data breaches, and the power to fine up to 4% of annual revenue or €20m, whichever is the higher.

If you’d like to discuss how you can make your mobiles more secure, or would like to see a full copy of the research, please get in touch: Naz Dossa.