Employee naivety around data security places organisations at risk!

The results of the 2013 Mobile Enterprise Risk Survey have been released by Absolute Software Corporation.

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% of employees said that data security is not their responsibility, and 30% said they believe there would be no penalty for losing a company device. Yet when asked about employer penalties for losing individual data, 69% 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%) describe the security culture of their workplace as moderate or lax. Only 63% of employees say there is a formal procedure in place when a device is lost, and 30% say there are no personal penalties for losing phones.

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%) of company employees have only one device for work and personal use, and often this device is owned by the business (23%). The research also looked into what employees think of the data that is stored on their corporate smart device. A third (33%) of respondents ranked protecting their personal contacts as a top priority, while four in 10 (41%) ranked work contacts as a top priority. These were both ahead of login details for corporate portals (23%) and work files (19%).

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

If you have concerns about how your employees view your business data, maybe it’s time you should contact us to discuss what can be done to help.

For complete peace of mind call VirtuousIT today on 01506 637700 or email us at sales@virtuousit.co.uk