Sophos survey highlights concerns regarding the business use of personal devices

Security concerns over business use of personal devices

Sophos survey highlights security concerns over the business use of personal devices.

The survey of over 1,000 consumers found that over a quarter were actively encouraged by their employers to use personal devices at work. But 30 per cent of the workers questioned stated that their company did not have a security policy in place to protect information on personal devices used for work purposes.

The survey also found that 50 per cent of respondents did not feel confident that the information on their personal devices would be secure if the lost the device and 25 per cent said they only had one phone for work and personal use.

Sophos said the findings reaffirmed the results of a poll of Sophos’s customer base, which showed that the vast majority of businesses did not approach the protection of personal devices in the same way as they protected company-owned technology.

As more and more companies looked to reduce costs and support flexible working, businesses were increasingly encouraging employees to use personal devices for work. Although mobile technology means that workers can be productive more of the time, it also means employees are taking sensitive, business critical data with them wherever they go, making it harder for IT security teams to manage and protect these devices, the company said.

Sophos director of technology strategy James Lyne said people rarely applied the same best practices to their own devices as they did to corporate equipment.

“As a result, despite the obvious business benefits, mobile working makes users more vulnerable, both to web-based threats and to simple loss of their devices and data.

“Almost a quarter of those surveyed admitted to having lost a mobile, and if these devices do not have in-built security features enabled such as passcode protection and encryption, businesses are effectively presenting a vastly increased attack surface to potential cyber criminals,” Lyne said.

Sophos published the independently commissioned research by TNS during Infosecurity Europe 2011 in London this week.

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