mobile device passcode

Which sectors require passcodes for mobile device access?

Public-sector agencies are more likely than other organizations to require strong passcodes to control access to mobile devices used in the workplace, according to a study by Fiberlink Communications, which provides mobile device management products and services.

Source: Fiberlink Communications Corp.

Eighty-five percent of agencies enforce a passcode policy for mobile devices, and 18 percent of them require the strongest category of passwords that combine letters, numbers and sometimes special characters.

Source: Fiberlink Communications Corp.

“When the public sector enforces a passcode, they really enforce it,” said Fiberlink’s director of marketing, Jonathan Dale.

The findings come from a study of policies enforced on 200,000 smartphones and tablets managed through Fiberlink. That sample represents a fifth of the 1 million devices the company manages for 5,000 customers.

Although 85 percent of devices among all respondents required some kind of passcode for authentication, the vast majority required the most simple kind, a four or five character PIN. Just 4 percent require a combination of numbers and letters, and two percent require a complex passcode of numbers, letters and special characters. Health care organizations, for example, scored highest in requiring some kind of passcode, at 97 percent, but only 4 percent require a strong passcode. One reason for the preponderance of simple passcodes is that policies have to balance security with user friendliness in order to be enforced.

About the Author

William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.

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