Businesses should be encouraging their staff to avoid carrying out personal activities on company-owned devices, as doing so could significantly increase the risk of a data breach.
New research published by GFI Software has shown the extent to which staff carry out personal activities on business devices, while also revealing how 40 per cent of firms surveyed have suffered a major IT outage as a result of staff visiting “questionable or non-work related” websites on company technology.
Overall, 75 per cent of respondents said they regularly use business devices for personal activities and while 90 per cent stated they have a good understanding of data security policies by their employer, almost one in ten (8.5 per cent) stated they simply disregard this.
Serious data destruction can be witnessed when individuals fail to take heed of the risks they could be exposing corporate IT infrastructure through accessing inappropriate networks on business technology.
Indeed, 31 per cent of respondents said they had required their company’s IT department to repair a device as a result of non-work activities, while ten per cent stated they had lost data or intellectual property as a result of these practices.
Sergio Galindo, general manager of GFI Software, commented: “Without clear policies and guidelines in place on approved personal use boundaries … the dividing line between work tool and personal device can quickly become blurred.
“There are clear arguments in favour of letting staff use company computers for a degree of personal activity. However, people still need to remember that at the end of the day it is not their device, and neither is the company data on it.”
Educating staff on the need to use corporate IT in a safe and responsible manner should therefore form part of any company’s data protection policies.
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