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October 9, 2012

One in eight UK employees admit losing work data from mobile device

Over 3 million people in the UK have lost important work information from their mobile device in the last 12 months.

By Tineka Smith

According to a study by Kroll Ontrack revealed that these employees lost company data through device malfunction or corruption.

One in five UK employees admits they save critical work data on removable devices such as flash devices.

Another seven percent of employees reported they carry around confidential work data on their own personal devices.

"One of the biggest challenges for businesses today is to understand and manage the huge quantity of data they hold," said Robert Winter, chief engineer at Kroll Ontrack. "Unfortunately, due to an increasingly mobile workforce, the risk of losing confidential data is heightened exponentially, unless the correct preventative action is taken. As a result, businesses are not only jeopardised financially but also run the risk of damaging their reputation. "

UK employees accessing work data from remote devices has risen dramatically in recent years.

Over 10 million employees now use personal tablets, laptops and other mobile devices to store work data and nearly 2 million carry work information on devices not given by their employers.

The research suggests organisations should be mindful of the privacy and security risks employees cause by storing work information on personal devices and to have a set data recovery plan in place.

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"Worryingly, 7% of UK employees are carrying around confidential work data on their own mobile or handheld device which has not been supplied by their employer," said Winter. "This research clearly shows that organisations need to do much more to help protect their data. Companies must implement thorough policies and procedures to help staff understand rules and security features surrounding BYOD."

Devices employees reported they store work data on: multiple responses permitted
I store work data on at least one device (mobile/laptop/flash drive) 62%
I store work data on an employer’s desktop computer 28%
I store work data on a removable media device(s) – flash drives, external hard drives, discs,etc 21%
I carry work data on my own laptop or tablet device 18%
I store work data on my home desktop computer 17%
I carry work data on a laptop or tablet device that is supplied by my employer 10%
I carry work data on my own mobile or handheld device 7%

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