Imation Corp. has treleased research which shows that German workers are most likely to follow rules around secure remote working, with 50% of German respondents saying that they always follow company rules compared to just over one third (36%) of UK respondents.. The study was conducted by independent research organisations among office workers in France, Germany and the UK.
Almost one fifth (18%) of UK respondents admitted to ignoring the rules even though they are aware of them, compared to just 6% of Germans who take the same lax approach to IT security. French workers are the least aware of IT security policies, with one quarter (25%) claiming that they do not know their company’s rules on remote working.
The results may help to explain the seeming reluctance of organisations to implement “bring your own device” (BYOD) schemes, with almost one third (32%) of businesses not permitting staff to use personal devices such as laptops, smartphones and tablets at work. The independent research, which was carried out in France, Germany and the UK, demonstrates severe shortcomings in corporate security policies and the provision of technology to support remote working guidelines.
Respondents highlighted major concerns over the effect of personal device usage on IT security, with 40% of UK employees and 71% of French workers concerned or very concerned by the increasing consumerisation of corporate IT.
One major shortcoming in corporate IT security highlighted by Imation’s study is a lack of guidelines for employees around secure remote working practices. In the UK, 47% of workers are either unaware of their employer’s guidelines on secure remote working or claim none have been provided. In Germany the figure is 45%, and over half (51%) of French workers say their employer has either provided no guidelines or that they are unaware of them.
“This research shows that there are major shortcomings in Europe’s major IT markets around secure remote working from both a technology and policy perspective,” comments Nick Banks, head of EMEA and APAC, Imation Mobile Security. “What is clear is that not enough organisations are providing the right technology and putting in place the right processes to ensure staff are working securely. Given the amount of employees who admitted to ignoring corporate IT guidelines, as well as the numerous cases of human error being to blame for major security breaches, organisations cannot make secure working ‘opt-in’. Instead they should look at ways to empower mobile workers and provide them with all the tools they need to remain productive, while guaranteeing corporate data is secure.”
Imation’s study also shows a number of interesting differences between the attitudes and practices of workers in the UK, France and Germany. German workers are typically the most likely to follow corporate guidelines and the least likely to use potentially insecure technology for work purposes, with only 8% having accessed work documents over public unsecured WiFi networks. This is in stark contrast to results from the UK (26% of employees have used unsecured WiFi hotspots), and France (14%).
The research is consistent with findings in the United States and Canada. A Harris Interactive survey of IT professionals sponsored by Imation found that while 81% of respondents reported having encryption policies on mobile devices, only 34% enforced those policies.
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