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Most BYOD businesses exposing data to cyber criminals

A new report found that over half of the 570 UK IT professionals surveyed have no personal device policy in place

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New research has shown that the vast majority of businesses are exposing sensitive corporate data to cyber criminals by failing to implement effective BYOD strategies.

The report, released this week, found that just over half of the 570 UK IT professionals surveyed have no personal device policy in place and that 23 per cent of those with BYOD policies are willing to make exceptions for executives, who handle some of the most sensitive data.

Companies ignoring security and employee BYOD education are jeopardising their confidential data, exposing it to theft, corruption, hackers, malware and more, according to security firm Acronis and independent research body Ponemon Institute, who were behind the report.

Twenty-three per cent of companies surveyed said they did not allow staff to access the corporate network from their own personal devices. However, Gartner predicts that half of all companies will actually require employees to use their own mobile devices for work by 2017.

Meanwhile, nearly 80 per cent of respondents said they haven’t educated staff on the risks of BYOD.

“Personal devices have permanently and positively changed the workplace, particularly in the way employees collaborate, work remotely and interact with company data,” said Rick Powles, managing director UK and Ireland, Acronis.

“BYOD is a huge opportunity for companies, but our research shows troubling signs of negligence in the face of these dangers. However, with policies and solutions that manage the flow of data between multiple devices and environments, companies can practice safe BYOD with confidence.”

According to the research, cloud storage and file sharing services like DropBox are commonly used by employees but 69 per cent of organisations said they don’t have a policy in place around public clouds and 80 per cent said they haven’t trained their staff how to use these platforms without risking company data.

Acronis architect and mobility specialist, Cedric Martin, told Techworld that companies who implement BYOD solutions stand to save money on devices they would usually buy for employees, while also increasing flexibility and ultimately productivity.

Acronis has a mobile file management solution called mobilEcho for enterprise mobility users that aims to help IT provide employees with secure and managed access, via active directory authentication, to files and content on enterprise file servers.


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