350,000 Irish office workers use unsecure remote working devices

Karen O’Connor, Datapac
Karen O’Connor, Datapac

One in 10 don’t take any measures to protect mobile devices used for work purposes

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9 August 2019 | 0

An estimated 350,000 Irish office workers (27%) have used unencrypted mobile devices to access or store company data, according to joint research from Datapac and Sophos.

A survey of 500 participants examined the security concerns associated with remote working and increased mobility. It found 45% of office-based employees in Ireland use mobile devices including laptops, tablets and smart phones, to access or store company data, such as work emails or business documents.

The companies warn that while increased mobility facilitates flexible and remote working, there remains significant security concerns around the trend.

Failure to implement and maintain adequate security measures on their work and personal devices is common, as 24% of office workers have ignored a security update request on a work device. While 27% have connected to unsecure public Wi-Fi networks for remote work, and 75% do not use two factor authentication when accessing their company network.

In terms of use of personal devices, 42% of office workers fail to use anti-virus software and 11% take no efforts whatsoever to ensure their devices are protected.

The data also revealed that 15% would not inform their employer if their personal device used for work was stolen.

“While employers are increasingly providing employees with corporate laptops and phones to enable remote working,” said Ricky Knights, channel engagement manager, Ireland and UK, Sophos, “basic security measures, such as encryption and anti-virus protection, are often lacking.

“Employers need to understand that this greatly increases the risk of suffering a data breach, which can expose sensitive customer and company information. Mobile device management solutions can help businesses to put security controls in place on these devices and ensure that only approved devices can gain access to the company network.”

“Employers must not lose sight of their obligations to protect sensitive data,” said Karen O’Connor, general manager, Datapac. “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.”

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