A global study released has revealed that workers using their own mobile devices for work remain fearful of their employer accessing their personal information.
The report, ‘Employees Tell the Truth About Your Company’s Data’, commissioned by Wi-Fi solutions provider Aruba Networks, features a study of over 3,000 employees around the world and reveals that almost half of European (45%), 40% of Middle Eastern and 66% of American respondents fear the loss of personal data.
A further 34% of Europeans, 35% of Middle Easterners and more than half of Americans (51%) claim that their IT department takes no steps to ensure the security of corporate files and applications on their personal devices.
These concerns are leading many employees to keep their personal devices away from the IT department, which is jeopardizing company data. Around one in six European workers (15%) and Middle Eastern and American employees (17%) have not told their employers that they use a personal device for work.
Even more concerning for business is that 13% in Europe, 26% in the Middle East and 11% in the USA would not report that their personal device had been compromised, even if it leaked company data. A further 40% of European workers, 41% of Middle Eastern workers and 36% of US employees would not report leaked data immediately.
This reticence is driven by negative perceptions of corporate IT departments, particularly what the IT team might do with the employee’s personal device and data. Twenty-five percent in Europe, 31% in the Middle East and 45% in the USA worry about IT department access to their personal data, while 18% in Europe and 26% in the Middle East fear their IT department would interfere with their private data if they handed over their device.
When asked how they would feel if their personal data was accessed by their IT department, around half of all users across Europe and the Middle East described their reaction as ‘angry’, and 41% in Europe, 47% in the Middle East and 46% in the US would feel ‘violated’ by this news.
Ben Gibson, chief marketing officer of Aruba Networks, said: ‘The research from both sides of the Atlantic shows that employees and IT departments are gambling with data security, but chance isn’t the only factor. In short, employees resent the power their employers now wield over their personal data, but are equally unconcerned about keeping company data safe.’
Gibson continued: ‘We are now well beyond the point of discussing Bring Your Own Device as something on the horizon. It is a reality across the world and businesses need to adopt solutions that give their employees greater privacy for their personal data as well as exert greater network controls to ensure that sensitive information is not leaked, without disrupting the user experience.’