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Are employees failing on mobile IT security?

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Mobile working has the potential to confer great advantages on modern businesses, particularly those with a need for greater flexibility in the digital age.

But the opportunities brought about by modern broadband connections are to some degree tempered by increased levels of risk, meaning security considerations cannot afford to be overlooked.

And based upon the results of a recent Coalfire study, too many employees are failing to take the steps necessary to protect corporate and personal data.

The governance, risk and compliance firm found that 84 per cent of respondents used the same devices inside and outside of work – evidence of the growing bring your own device trend.

But just 53 per cent of those surveyed said they had a password on their mobile phone. And of those who do, 36 per cent reused this access code on another device or account.

Employees are also potentially exposing their accounts to outsiders by writing their passwords down on paper, with 60 per cent making this fundamental mistake, the firm reported.

“The bring your own device trend is not slowing down, and while it has many benefits, it’s also introducing a number of new security risks that may be foreign to many companies,” said Rick Dakin, chief executive and chief security strategist with Coalfire.

“Companies must do much more to protect their critical infrastructure as employees work from their own mobile devices, such as tablets and smartphones, in the workplace.”

He said businesses need to have security and education policies in place that protect company data on personal devices, and allow companies to benefit from mobile technology without accepting a disproportionate amount of risk.

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