More than one-quarter (27%) of Irish office workers - approximately 350,000 people - use an unencrypted mobile device to access or store company data. This is according to a survey of 500 Irish office workers who use a laptop, PC or smartphone for work which was carried out by Censuswide on behalf of Datapac and Sophos.
The survey found that almost half (45%) of office-based employees in Ireland - amounting to more than 600,000 people - use mobile devices, including laptops, tablets and smartphones, to access or store company data, such as work emails or business documents. While increased mobility facilitates flexible and remote working, there remains significant security concerns around the trend.
The survey discovered that many employees fail to implement and maintain adequate security measures on both their work and personal devices. For instance, almost one-in-four office workers (24%) have ignored a security update request on a work device.
The vast majority (75%) don’t use two factor authentication - such as a code from a mobile phone - when accessing their company network for remote working on a personal device. Employees using public Wi-Fi pose another risk for businesses, with more 27% admitting to connecting to unsecure public Wi-Fi networks without a password for remote work.
Forty two percent of office workers who use their own devices don’t use any anti-virus software. In fact, 11% of Irish office workers who use their personal devices for work purposes don’t take any measures to ensure their devices are adequately protected and secured.
Commenting on the survey, General Manager at Datapac, Karen O’Connor said, "More flexible working options are increasingly in demand by today’s workforce and employers are incorporating greater mobility in an effort to attract the best talent. However, employers must not lose sight of their obligations to protect sensitive data."
She added, "Putting access rights management controls in place, implementing two-factor authentication processes, and restricting network access for unencrypted and unauthorised devices are all essential elements in guarding against hackers and rising cybercrime. With these protective procedures in place, employees can securely enjoy a more flexible workstyle."