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Two-thirds of IT professionals ‘do not encrypt data between cloud and mobile’

Half of organisations in Sophos survey allow access to all cloud services from work mobiles.

By Jimmy Nicholls

Two-thirds of IT professionals do not encrypt data moving between the cloud and mobile devices, according to a survey on the computing community Spiceworks conducted by software firm Sophos.

The survey of more than 700 computer staff revealed that half of their organisations were allowing all traffic between personal cloud services such as Dropbox and mobile devices used for work, with only 38% selectively blocking services.

Chris Hazelton, research director for mobile and wireless at 451 Research, said: "The rapid shift to more flexible and increasingly mobile working patterns has led to widespread adoption (with or without the consent of IT) of file-sync-and-share services as users seek to store and collaborate on shared content.

"This ‘any device, any cloud’ trend will only continue, so organisations face an increased risk of losing sensitive corporate data if they don’t deploy encryption and data loss protection tools."

Only three-quarters of the IT professionals questioned used the cloud to share work content to their mobiles, and of those who did, only half felt secure. More than half said they did not use the same password policy for their personal cloud as their company advocated.

Bring-your-own-device [BYOD] policies have caused a headache for IT staff, leading 29% of European firms restricting usage of mobile devices to senior employees, according to a survey by software company Oracle released earlier this year.

Further research by software company Landesk noted that allowing employees to purchase their own equipment for work can save British firms an average of £150,000 over five years.

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Along with the report Sophos today launched their Mobile Control software for firms struggling to manage BYOD, including file encryption, integrated antivirus and web filtering for users of Android, iOS and Windows phones.

Speaking to CBR in March, Clive Longbottom, research director at Quocirca, praised the potential of BYOD, saying it could lead to "everything from increased employee productivity, reduced hardware costs for IT and an improved ability to attract the best of today’s young talent".

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