Study reveals carefree approach to mobile data security

Study of over 11,500 employees found that six in 10 were happy to let others use their work or personal smartphone

A study of over 11,500 employees in 23 countries has found that some are taking a carefree approach to mobile security.

According to the report by Aruba Networks called Running the Risk, six out of 10 people surveyed were happy to let others use their work or personal smartphones.

Fifty six per cent of 500 Australian employees said they regularly share their devices with others while 22 per cent don’t have a password on their phone.

In addition, 43 per cent of Australians surveyed admitted to having lost data due to the misuse of a mobile device.

Globally, men were 20 per cent more likely than women to have lost personal or client data due to the misuse of a smartphone.

Aruba Networks Australia and New Zealand managing director Steve Coad said the demographic most likely to have a mobile data breach was a young, highly paid IT worker.

“As a general rule, males are less careful than females especially when they are younger. Males are not putting passwords on their phones and sharing their phones with their mates," he said.

The age bracket with the highest propensity of data and identity theft was employees aged between 25-34 years of age. Employees earning more than $60,000 a year were more than twice as likely as employees earning less than $18,000 to have lost company financial data.

“Gen Y has been brought up with technology so they may have a trust in it that they shouldn’t have,” he said.

“One of the reasons for that is the advent of social media and their device gets shared around different people when they are taking photos.”

Coad said that companies need to build a plan around mobile devices and how to lock these devices down. For example, a lot of workplaces use mobile device management (MDM) to containerise data.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

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