Mobile devices put 25pc of Irish firms at risk of data breach

24 Oct 2012

More than a quarter of Irish organsiations are providing no IT support or security for the personal devices workers use to access the company network. This is despite 85pc of firms knowing full well workers can access the company network this way.

The survey by DataSolutions on behalf of Citrix had an even more stark finding – 68pc of firms know staff walk around with private corporate (and potentially customer) information stored on their devices.

The study of close to 100 Irish senior IT executives found that only 14pc actually support 75pc of the devices accessing their networks.

A further 68pc say that corporate applications are stored on the personal devices of their workers.

BYOD = bring your own disasters?

“The emerging workforce are extremely savvy when it comes to technology and have grown up with mobile devices and phones as a part of everyday life,” said Francis O’Haire, a director with DataSolutions. 

“It will be essential for businesses to take the steps to provide these future employees with a work environment that suits their expectations.”

More than 95pc of companies surveyed said smartphones and tablet computers – whether company or employee-owned – are in use in their organisations.

According to Grace O’Rourke Veitch, country manager with Citrix Ireland, despite the explosion of BYOD (bring your own device) policies in workplaces around Ireland and Europe, a surprising amount of companies do not have policies in place to protect their data and their customer’s data.

“Mobile personal devices that are outside the control and visibility of the company bring their own new set of security risks. Employees are bypassing the IT department and accessing the corporate network with their preferred communications tools, with the potential for privacy, compliance and risk-management issues.

“Keeping track of all devices on the corporate network, enabling permission-based access and ensuring the security of data should be top priority for any business. Having the appropriate technologies in place will help companies to securely manage the current trend towards the consumerisation of IT,” O’Rourke Veitch said.

Join Citrix Ireland country manager Grace O’Rourke Veitch and Ireland’s digital leaders who will gather to discuss cloud computing and the big data revolution at the Cloud Capital Forum on Friday, 23 November, at the Convention Centre Dublin

Smartphone security image via Shutterstock

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