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Employees have to feel responsible for device security, says Kensington

Is Bring Your Own Device a Bring Your Own Disaster in the making?

New research into BYOD suggests employees are more concerned about companies accessing their personal data than any risks to business information.

A survey from Kensington Computer Products conducted among office workers in the UK, France and Germany showed that 67 per cent of organisations allowed BYOD, and that employees were then connecting their own notebooks, tablets, iPads and smartphones to corporate networks.

More worringly, the survey also revealed that employees were more worried about someone accessing their personal content and social media channels than any potential damage to their company. A mere 40 per cent were concerned about damages to their employer if their devices were lost or stolen.

Furthermore, 44 per cent of workplaces said that they didn’t have any security policies or advice in place for users who bring their own devices to work. 

"Survey results reveal that most employees are ambivalent about the risks of company data on their devices,” explained Stephen Hoare at Kensington. "They expect the company to make sure its data is protected – via encryption and other security methods.

"Although there’s a clear acceptance of BYOD as a popular workplace trend, most people aren’t prepared to accept the responsibility that goes with it. This is something that employers not only need to be aware of, but to be proactive in making sure they take steps to protect their data.”

Kensington advises that companies should have a tailored BYOD policy that sets out acceptable use, including encryption techniques, strong password methodologies, theft deterrents, early notification of device losses and remote wipe capabilities.

In other words, employees have to realise they are responsible for their machine and the data within it.

Hoare commented: "Our survey has revealed a sobering number of employers who still don’t have security policies in place for users who bring their own devices to work. Ignoring the problem is like leaving the keys in the ignition of your company car – or leaving the office window wide open when you leave the building. Employers must start focusing on helping their employees to take responsibility for safeguarding corporate data – by ensuring that they realise the consequences.”

Results are from a survey conducted by IDC among employees in the UK, France and Germany in July 2012. The survey can be downloaded from www.kensington.com

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