Less than 50% of BYO digital devices properly secured at work, study says

Two-thirds of company employees use their personal digital devices at work but less than half of these have been properly secured, according to research conducted in the US and Australia.

The research – carried out by GCK on behalf of Mobile Mentor for Endpoint Ecosystem, a wide-ranging study focused on finding better ways to promote company security and staff wellbeing, – found that only 43% of workers surveyed had obtained formal “bring your own device” (BYOD) approval from their bosses before bringing their own gadgets to work.

The findings, which present a potential headache for security-conscious employers, were compounded by further research that suggested around four in ten workers found ways to circumvent company security policy while 72% placed their own privacy concerns above company security.

Three in ten used a password management system, but a similar proportion wrote their personal codes down in an old-fashioned journal – rendering company data vulnerable to a simple act of theft.

When it came to judging other people’s security infractions, workers adopted a somewhat harsher tone – six in ten believed company bosses should be fired for breaches. Furthermore, a third said they knew of at least one colleague that had committed a security breach at work.

Balance is key

The architects of the Endpoint Ecosystem study claim that striking a balance between making life comfortable for employees and protecting company data is something that all employers must strive to do.

“Until employers prioritize the importance of each component within the Endpoint Ecosystem, their company security and employee productivity are going to be exposed to serious risk,” Denis O’Shea, founder of Mobile Mentor, recently told Businesswire.

He added that the COVID pandemic forcing staff to work remotely together with high resignations over the past two years meant that promoting the two had become more important than ever.

“When the Endpoint Ecosystem works well, you have a secure, productive and happy workforce,” he said.

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