UK companies that allow their employees to use personal devices for work are running the risk of their customers’ data being lost or stolen, according to a new study.
Conducted by Arlington Research and Acronis in May, the survey – which was published on Wednesday (July 1st) – found that 40 per cent of British businesses do not have policies in place to govern their bring-your-own-device (BYOD) workers.
As a result, said employees may be accessing and sharing regulated company information using smartphones and tablets that aren’t managed by their IT departments.
The survey also found that 60 per cent of Britons overall use personal devices for work – and that one in five have lost a device containing sensitive business data.
Daniel Model, manager for sales engineering Europe at Acronis, called it “astounding” to see how many UK companies “lack protection against unmanaged use of mobile phones and tablets”.
“The door is open to a serious risk of data breach,” he continued. “We are calling for all UK businesses that are tapping into the power and productivity benefits of mobile workers to take data protection seriously and prevent easy access to and sharing of company data and remove the risks involved with mobile workers.”
In light of its findings, Acronis also shared a set of recommendations for companies to allow BYOD working securely.
It urged them to introduce policies to enforce basic security measures such as key locks and password protection, as well as to “make data protection everyone’s responsibility” – as many as 40 per cent of businesses have an opportunity to better train their employees when it comes to BYOD risks, the company said.
Another way to avoid the risks linked to lost devices is to ensure any sensitive or regulated information is securely erased from them in a timely manner.
For peace of mind that end-of-life data is permanently destroyed, contact Kroll Ontrack for cost-effective and compliant end-of-life data erasure solutions.