The Rise of the Mobile Worker Increases the Risk of Visual Hacking

“Visual hacking”, or shoulder surfing, now presents a real threat to organisations.
While it is good news that an increasing number of organizations are beginning to implement more robust mobile and BYOD security strategies, there is still one area that is often overlooked: the ability to ‘visual hack’ information on mobile devices. Yet with more and more of us now working out of the office – whether on trains, planes, or in coffee shops or hotel lobbies – protecting screens from prying eyes should be receiving higher priority.
The rise in mobile working and the ability to view other people’s screens is potentially a criminal’s dream. No longer is there a need to be an expert computer hacker; instead discreetly point a smartphone at a screen and click away, or simply memorize what can be seen. In a 2015 survey in which 3M was involved, respondents cited a wide variety of content they had viewed on people’s screens, including confidential financial, HR and contractual information. And in a recent ‘white hat hacking’ experiment by the Ponemon Institute, almost 9 out of 10 instances, visual hacking attempts were successful.
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