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Malicious attacks also increased by 81 percent in comparison with Symantec's 2010 estimates.
"That's a total of 5.5 billion attacks blocked just by Symantec," Haley said. Web attacks were also up by 36 percent, he added.
Mobile Data Breach Threats
Symantec intentionally "lost" 50 smartphones earlier this year to monitor what would happen to the simulated corporate and personal data that the company had installed on these devices. The results of the experiment suggest that virtually all lost handsets are potentially consumer and business data breach threats.
"Only half of the people who found one of the phones made any attempt to return it [and even the people who tried] to return the phones made attempts to view the data on them," Haley noted last month. "In fact, 96 percent of our lost smartphones were accessed by their finders."
Symantec's experiment underscores the importance of having password protection installed on mobile devices as well as the ability to remotely wipe the device's data immediately after it has been reported as lost. The security software maker is also strongly urging businesses to adopt applications offering the ability to remotely wipe the data from employees' handsets.
"In this way, even if the phone fell into the hands of a determined thief, there would be no data for them to find," Haley said. "It is also a good idea to have software on the phone to help locate it if lost."