Education, education, education: Why employees are still unaware of BYOD policies

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Survey results from Intercede and Atomik Research published today have found that almost a quarter (23%) of UK employees are unaware of their employer’s BYOD policy.

The survey, of 1213 UK employees, found that a quarter of those polled had accessed company data on their own smartphone or tablet, with 7% doing so without their employer’s permission. 21% of those polled admitted they knew they needed permission to access data, but went ahead and did it anyway.

Alarmingly just 5% of respondents said they would be concerned over corporate data if they lost a device. One in five (19%) are signed in to their corporate accounts on mobile devices at all times. 8% of workers had used shadow IT to gain access to work emails without the company’s permission.

“By bypassing companies’ BYOD policies and not taking regulations into account when accessing sensitive data, employees are leaving the back door open to hackers,” said Richard Parris, CEO of Intercede.

“CIOs are currently in a difficult position,” he added. “They either ban BYOD completely or implement long, complex passwords, which are vulnerable and unfit for use on mobile devices.”

The overall consensus is one of employees needing more education on how their BYOD policies operate. Phil Barnett, UK sales director at Good Technology, argued that workers must have a better awareness of whether corporate data is secure or not – and blamed Dropbox for causing headaches among the C-suite.

“Dropbox is a huge bugbear for corporate IT departments because it takes cloud storage and file synchronisation outside the enterprise,” he wrote. “It’s convenient for employees, but Dropbox has had a number of high profile data breaches.”

For enterprises, the stakes are high if data gets lost – and the authorities will enforce policy if needs be. The Royal Veterinary College (RVC) was whacked last year after an investigation by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) found they had broken the Data Protection Act after an employee lost a camera containing sensitive information about potential job applicants.

 

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