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Frightening naivety in mobile technology usage

Frightening naivety in mobile technology usage

The results of the 2013 Mobile Enterprise Risk Survey. The research surveyed 755 British workers on their attitudes to mobile devices and data theft and found many employees do not feel responsible for their organisations’ data.

Businesses face fines of up to £500,000 for data breaches but despite this, 23 percent of employees said that data security is not their responsibility, and 30 percent said they believe there would be no penalty for losing a company device. Yet when asked about employer penalties for losing individual data, 69 percent of those surveyed said businesses should be fined and face legal sanctions. It’s widely agreed that the proliferation of mobile devices and the trend in bring your own device (BYOD) in the workplace is seeing company data exposed and compromised more frequently, yet a third of employees (33 percent) describe the security culture of their workplace as moderate or lax. Only 63 percent of employees say there is a formal procedure in place when a device is lost, and 30 percent say there are no personal penalties for losing the phone.

Stephen Midgley, Vice President, Global Marketing, Absolute Software said: “The desire for employees to work remotely and on the go has made valuable and confidential business data vulnerable. The speed with which BYOD has landed has meant corporate IT has barely been able to keep its head above water and the results of the 2013 Mobile Enterprise Risk Survey show that for most organisations it’s a struggle not only to educate employees on device security, but also to provide basic support to its staff. A business can be compromised financially and competitively through data breaches, and it’s vital that CIOs and IT departments develop a strategy to mitigate against mobile device theft and data loss.”

In terms of device ownership, the 2013 Mobile Enterprise Risk Survey shows that nearly one third (29 percent) of company employees have only one device for work and personal use, and often this device is owned by the business (23 percent). The research also looked into what employees think of the data that is stored on their corporate smart device. A third (33 percent) of respondents ranked protecting their personal contacts as a top priority, while four in ten (41 percent) ranked work contacts as a top priority. These were both ahead of login details for corporate portals (23 percent) and work files (19 percent).

It seems despite recognition that sensitive data exists, a significant amount of employees surveyed are still losing devices.  55 percent understand there is private information on their device, yet 15 percent admitted to having lost a smartphone or tablet, rising to 25 percent in younger employees aged between 18 and 34. On learning a device has been lost, 37 percent said they contacted IT, 28 percent contacted the service provider, while only 7 percent used a tracking service to locate the device.

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