Mobilisafe, a stealthy Seattle mobile security startup bankrolled by Madrona Venture Group and Trilogy Equity Partners, still isn’t sharing many details about its new product. But the company — led by former T-Mobile software architects Giri Sreenivas and Dirk Sigurdson — just released some detailed information about the lack of security around mobile devices at small and mid-sized businesses.

Mobilisafe found that 56 percent of iOS devices at small and medium-sized businesses were running out-of-date firmware. It also found that 39 percent of “authenticated devices” were inactive for 30 days or more, meaning that the devices were possibly lost, stolen or misplaced.

“Associated with the high penetration of these devices with the small and mid-sized businesses is a lot of risk, a lot of risk around vulnerabilities, and a lot of risk around devices running out-of-date firmware,” Sreenivas tells GeekWire.

He said the 39 percent figure of “stale devices” raises “significant implications” around the use of mobile devices in a corporate environment.

Among the other findings:

  • The majority of SMB’s are highly mobilized, driven by the bring your own device (BYOD) trend of recent years
  • SMB IT managers significantly underestimate the number and kinds of mobile devices connecting to their network
  • SMB IT departments lack solutions to map their corporate standard for information security used with laptops, desktops and servers to mobile devices. For example, they have tremendous difficulty determining if mobile devices are up-to-date with the latest firmware

Mobilisafe said that it mapped more than 38 million employee mobile device connections that provided the data for the analysis.

Like what you're reading? Subscribe to GeekWire's free newsletters to catch every headline


  • Robi Ganguly

    Whoa! 39%? That’s a huge number. Great job to Giri and the Mobilisafe team for leading the way on this issue – seems like corporate IT is going to face some huge challenges in the next few years, these guys are on it!

  • Pieter

     No idea what their product is but with password protected locks, device encryption and remote wipe a mobile device seems pretty secure, even when lost. The problem is that encryption eats up the battery so the mobile device at least requires hardware encryption support in the chip set. Unfortunately that is not enough. Apple’s device encryption has been circumvented and even Google’s latest Galaxy Nexus phone does not seem to have hardware encryption. Clearly both Google, Android phone vendors and Apple have some work to do. Finally, the lack of running the latest firmware is strange as my Android phone (Google Nexus) updates itself automatically. But I guess their may still be telco’s who prefer the way of the dinosaur and don’t allow OTA (over the air) updates.

  • NRP

    Great data and very interesting, good job! 

Job Listings on GeekWork