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New survey warns about risk of personal device usage at work

Filed under: Information Risk and Security — Stephanie on January 30, 2012

New statistics show that over three-quarters of European companies are ready to meet with the rising popularity of personal device usage at work.

2.245 office workers were surveyed by Trend Micro. The workers were from a range of businesses across Europe and 83 percent agreed that they would be happy for their staff to use a personal mobile phone to access their business emails. However, just 10 percent would allow their employees access to social media sites or games.

The survey also revealed that 72 percent of businesses have policies in place to manage personal technology usage at work however, one quarter of those questioned maintained that their staff did not follow them. For those seeking risk management jobs this is a growing trend to be aware of. Many companies were found to prioritise blocking instant messaging and social networking rather than focusing on mobile device security. In IT security jobs it is the latter area that will cause risk and network threat as company data is potentially exposed.

Trend Micro’s director of consumerisation, Cesare Garlati commented:

“Companies need to wise up to the different threat levels of an employee wasting time on social media sites versus an employee losing an entire new business pipeline, or exposing the soft underbelly of the organisation’s business systems, by leaving their mobile device in a pub or on a train.”

He went on to advise that those in information security jobs should tackle this issue on three levels:

“Know the risks, work proactively and think strategically. Employees don’t ask the IT department’s permission to use a device any more, they just go ahead and use it.”

It is likely that as mobile devices grow in popularity at work risk management jobs will take responsibility for managing any threat.

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