Survey: We’re Not So Smart When it Comes to BYOD

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More and more these days, we’re using the same smartphones, tablets and laptops for personal and business use. And according to a survey released today, many if not most of us are pretty sloppy about it.

The study, conducted last month by Coalfire, a Colorado-based IT governance, risk and compliance services company, showed  that many companies are not discussing mobile device cyber-security issues with their employees and lack policies to protect sensitive company data. As a result, companies are leaving themselves vulnerable to cyber-attacks and data breaches.

Coalfire’s survey of 400 non-IT people in various industries across North America produced some staggering stats about the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend:

  • 84 percent of respondents said they use the same smartphone for personal and work usage.
  • 47 percent reported they have no passcode on their mobile phone.
  • 36 percent reuse the same password.
  • 51 percent of respondents stated their companies do not have the ability to remotely wipe data from mobile devices if they are locked or lost.
  • Despite the growing awareness, 60 percent of respondents are still writing down passwords on a piece of paper. Only 24 percent reported using a password management system, 11 percent are saving an encrypted document on their desktop and 7 percent have a document saved on their desktop.
  • Nearly half of all respondents – 49 percent – said their IT departments have not discussed mobile/cyber-security with them.

“The BYOD trend is not slowing down, and while it has many benefits, it’s also introducing a number of new security risks that may be foreign to many companies,” said Rick Dakin, CEO and chief security strategist with Coalfire, in a press release. “The results of this survey demonstrate that companies must do much more to protect their critical infrastructure as employees work from their own mobile devices, such as tablets and smartphones, in the workplace. Companies need to have security and education policies in place that protect company data on personal devices.”

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