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Polled workers feel 'Security Is Not My Responsibility'

 Whatsapp CEO Jan Koum shows his mobile phone during a Keynote conference as part of the first day of the Mobile World Congress 2014
Whatsapp CEO Jan Koum shows his mobile phone during a Keynote conference as part of the first day of the Mobile World Congress 2014
Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Employees may not fully value the corporate data that is on their mobile devices. Absolute® Software Corporation released the results of the 2013 Mobile Enterprise Risk Survey. The survey polled workers in companies with 1000 or more employees who use mobile phones for work within diverse industries, including banking, retail, healthcare, and energy. The poll focused on the state of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies within these organizations and the current sentiment of workers regarding responsibility and compliance for corporate data contained on mobile devices.

Key US findings of the 2013 Mobile Enterprise Risk Survey include:

  • It's not my problem - When asked about appropriate penalties if they leak or lose company data, a quarter (25.2 percent) of American enterprise workers surveyed said there should be no punishment since data security is not their responsibility.
  • It's not a big deal - While 75 percent of respondents felt that they should face some penalty if they lost corporate data, many of those who had lost a device with work data on it said their punishment ranged from 'nothing' (34 percent) to simply having to replace the device (30 percent) or getting a 'talking to', but nothing else (21 percent).
  • I didn't know - About one quarter (23 percent) of respondents indicated that they do not know their company's procedure for dealing with work device loss or theft. Also, 10 percent of respondents indicated that their employer is not looking to introduce a procedure for the loss or theft of work devices.
  • It can't happen to me again - More than one third (35 percent) of respondents who had lost their mobile phones stated that they did not change their security habits afterwards.
  • It's just a phone - Nearly two thirds (59 percent) of enterprise mobile users estimated their corporate data to be worth less than $500.

As the use of mobile devices continues to increase in the enterprise, these survey results indicate IT is still facing many challenges implementing and enforcing mobile-use guidelines. Although employees may feel the data on their device is only worth $500, when you consider that most data breach penalties can range into the millions of dollars, there's an obvious disconnect between an employee's perception and the risk to the organization.

For a complete report on the findings of Absolute Software's Mobile Enterprise Risk Survey, please visit: http://www.absolute.com/en/resources/research/mobile-enterprise-risk-us