Only 15 percent of 4,037 respondents to a March survey in five countries for Juniper Networks (NYSE: JNPR), the No. 2 maker of Internet products, said they were mostly confident in data security.
The survey found similar disturbing lapses in online services for banking, health care and shopping. Only 51 percent of respondents said they believed online banking to be secure.
It's a sign of the times in the consumerization of information technology, said Dan Hoffman, Juniper's mobile security evangelist charged with raising awareness about network security.
He predicted companies will run into more problems as growing numbers of employees use their mobile devices to access corporate networks, potentially exposing them to intrusions, as well as data loss.
There needs to be a balance, Hoffman said, so that if employees use their devices for data, there is a 'win-win' situation.
Juniper currently provides security software and protection for all its equipment and network transmission, he said. As well, it's highlighted that products that interact with phones from AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), the No. 1 telecommunications carrier, and use products from Samsung Electronics (Seoul: 005930) should be secure.
Hoffman is a former principal with SMobile Systems, a security company acquired by Juniper in 2010, and received training in secure communications in the U.S. Coast Guard. He acknowledged that companies don't know what to do to ensure all transmissions are safe.
Other disturbing findings in the Juniper Networks survey include:
- 63 percent hold their mobile phone providers responsible for security.
- Of all online services, social networking ranked lowest, 36 percent in consumer confidence. The highest was online shopping, with 60 percent. Online banking was only 51 percent.
- As many as 71 percent of consumers would change their usage if they determined service wasn't secure. In this set, 78 percent would discontinue online banking, 57 percent would cease sending private data and 52 percent would stop viewing material from work.
Shares of Juniper Networks closed at $19.01, up 8 cents, on Wednesday, giving the Sunnyvale, Calif. company a value of $10.06 billion. They've declined 6.8 percent this year.