Employees simply ‘Don’t Know’ when it comes to security, and it’s a concern for them and their employers

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Do you know what security measures have been put in place by your employer for when you work on mobile devices? Now, don’t get offended, but my guess is that you don’t, and if you do, well done – you are in the minority (and you probably work in IT!).

At BT, we’ve recently surveyed over 1500 employees about mobile working and we explored their knowledge of security initiatives implemented at their organisation. When we asked them what security was in place for work on mobile devices, the most common answer was ‘Don’t Know’. Even some IT decision makers were unsure of the measures that had been put in place.

Data security is one of the biggest obstacles to mobile working. Thousands of office workers have lost their mobile devices (or had them stolen) putting at risk the abundance of customer and commercial data that is now stored. Staff turnover is another issue, many office workers think employees who store commercially sensitive data on their mobile devices and then leave, are a risk to employers.

Uncertainty extends though, beyond devices being lost, stolen or taken away from an organisation. When carrying out their day to day work, employees are unsure of the security in place. Over half of those surveyed did not know if they could connect securely to the company intranet, 65% couldn’t say for sure whether or not the information they sent from mobile devices was encrypted and 72% were at a loss to explain if their employer could track how and where the mobile device was used.

One of the greatest challenges with security, is understanding the scale of the task at hand. What needs to be secured? How do we secure it? And what processes are in place to limit damage should our security be breached? In order to implement robust security measures for mobile working, the starting point is to understand the risks that exist. Only once the full extent of the challenge is known, can attention then turn to variety of solutions that are available.

Today’s business leaders need to ask the questions, how many of your employees have lost mobile devices that contained organisational data? Do your employees know what security measures you have in place for mobile devices used at work? What new applications and security devices would support your mobile working strategy and operations? If you don’t know the answers, you might need to take a closer look at your security set up.

For more from our survey on mobile working, download your complimentary copy here.

Joseph Walsh


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