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Australian companies are risking sensitive information on BYOD technology: Aruba Networks

Almost two thirds of Australians worry about using a personal device for work purposes, according to new research by networking vendor, Aruba Networks. The study of 500 Australian professionals found 45 per cent of the respondents' companies don't provide a mobile device for work, and the worker must bring in their own if they wish to use one in a professional capacity. Aruba Networks A/NZ Australia managing director, Steve Coad, said the results highlight Australia's perception towards BYOD, showing where businesses need to step up if they are to successfully manage BYOD as an ongoing technology solution.

"BYOD is no longer a buzz-word or phenomena but a technology solution thousands of Australian businesses employ. One of the greatest challenges to BYOD is that many of the devices we use today were built for personal use, and professional applications are simply an add-on," he said.

Learn how smart CIOs are protecting customers from security breaches

Coad claimed the results suggest that while BYOD is a popular trend, many businesses don't understand the security or malware risks it presents.

When it comes to security management, the study found that only 31 per cent of the respondents' companies take steps to ensure the security of corporate files and applications of their personal devices, while 1 in 2 Australians don't have a "time-out" or lock that requires a password after periods of inactivity on their personal device.

"Mobile devices are an integral part of how business works. Yet when it comes to security for these devices, such as protecting confidential data and educating employees on their responsibilities, it appears some companies have no formal protocol or management solution in place," Coad mentioned.

Other findings include:

  • 13 per cent of respondents wouldn't tell their employers if they leaked sensitive company information from their personal devices that they use for work purposes.
  • 24 per cent of respondents worry about the fact that their work IT department has access to personal items saved on their personal device that they use for work.
  • 36 per cent of respondents worry they might lose their devices with sensitive information, such as personal or work data, on it.
  • 55 per cent of respondents would rather lose their keys than their personal device they use for work.

"The reality is too many companies don't understand or can't comprehend how easy it is to deploy a mobile device management solution that mitigates these risks. BYOD doesn't need to be an IT headache," Coad added.

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