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November 23, 2010

UK businesses still failing to protect laptops: survey

Creeping consumerisation of IT also causes issues

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UK workers are putting their business at risk by failing to adequately protect laptops, according to a new survey.

UK biz still failing to secure laptops

According to security firm Check Point, over half of UK workers do not use data or device encryption to protect business laptops, while a further 8% said that they have no idea if encryption technology was in use or not.

The survey quizzed 130 UK IT managers and senior IT staff and also found that 68% of organisations use VPNs on their laptops, potentially opening their networks up to unauthorised access if the correct security precautions are not in place.

Nick Lowe, Check Point’s head of sales for Western Europe said that the results of the survey are a familiar tale. "All the data security surveys conducted by Check Point in the UK in the last three years have consistently revealed similar results. The use of encryption on corporate laptops has not grown, with less than 50% having data encryption deployed."

He added that businesses are not learning the lessons of high profile data breaches and losses. "The HMRC data breach of three years ago stressed the need for data encryption, but a majority of businesses have not yet learnt the lesson. Data loss and breaches can strike anytime and affect any organisation, whether private or public," he said.

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Check Point also discovered that many (55%) of organisations allow employees to use personal devices, such as mobiles or laptops, for work purposes. Worryingly, 39% of respondents said their organisation has no formal process in place to protect these personal devices.

"Consumerisation of business IT is also a clear concern among IT administrators," continued Lowe. "Many organisations haven’t set up an appropriate plan to secure the use of personal laptops and smartphones in the workplace. These vulnerabilities need to be addressed by a combination of education and technology so that organisations can protect their data, their business and their employees against security risks."

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