Half of office workers use personal device for work

By Maurice Garvey

ALMOST half of Irish office workers use a personal device for work purposes, but many do not take adequate security measures, according to a recent survey.

The joint survey by Drimnagh-based ICT solutions company Datapac and security software firm Sophos, warns that the increasing trend of remote working, greatly increases the risks of businesses suffering a data breach.

Karen OConnor General Manager Datapac 1

Karen O’Connor, General Manager

It found that more than 600,000 Irish workers use a personal device such as a laptop or tablet outside of office hours.

The survey found that more than one-quarter (27 per cent) of Irish office workers - approximately 350,000 people - use an unencrypted mobile device to access or store company data.

“Employers need to understand that this greatly increases the risk of suffering a data breach, which can expose sensitive customer and company information,” said Ricky Knights, Channel Engagement Manager for UK and Ireland, Sophos.

The survey also discovered 24 per cent of respondents ignore security update request on a work device.

The vast majority (75 per cent) 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.

Meanwhile, more than 27 per cent admitted to connecting to unsecure public Wi-Fi networks without a password for remote work.

Bizarrely, 15 per cent of office workers admitted that they wouldn’t inform their employer if their laptop or other personal device was lost or stolen.

Mr Knights recommends mobile device management solutions to secure approved company devices.

Karen O’Connor, General Manager, Datapac, said more flexible working options are “increasingly in demand by today’s workforce” but “employers must not lose sight of their obligations to protect sensitive data.”

“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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