41pc of IT workers carry sensitive info on their gadgets

10 May 2011

Around 41pc of supposedly security-savvy IT professionals are walking around with sensitive information sitting on their mobile devices unprotected, new research reveals.

In fact, 19pc revealed that their organisation had suffered a data breach following the loss of a portable device (ie, laptop, USB, CD), with 54pc confessing the device had not been encrypted – an offence under data protection laws, according to a study by Origin Storage.

With 70pc of organisations making data encryption mandatory, 11pc of those respondents carrying sensitive information unprotected are actually breaching their organisation’s data protection efforts while the other 30pc are simply following their organisations’ woefully inadequate example.

Keystone cops?

When digging a little deeper, the study, amongst IT security professionals at this year’s Infosecurity Europe show, uncovered 37pc of respondents who confessed that between 81pc and 100pc of all sensitive data stored on their device(s) was actually left unprotected – so not just one or two documents transferred in a hurry.

“When you consider the level of knowledge this audience is assumed to have, working in IT and having some form of security remit, yet the lax protection used for sensitive data, it’s hardly surprising data breaches are increasing in frequency and especially recently in size,” said Andy Cordial, Origin’s managing director.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years