Fiberlink®, the leader in cloud-based enterprise mobility management (EMM), announced the results of its online survey, conducted by Harris Interactive, which reveal employees are unknowingly putting enterprise data at risk. Among 2,064 U.S. adults surveyed about their mobile behavior, over half (51 percent) of employees use their personal smartphones and/or tablet devices for work purposes. However, the overwhelming majority do not use mobile solutions that control corporate data and are engaging in risky behavior
For example, among employees who use mobile devices for work (either their own or employer-issued), the survey showed:
- 25 percent have opened/saved a work attachment file into a third-party app (e.g., QuickOffice, Dropbox, Evernote).
- 20 percent admit to having cut/pasted work-related email or attachments from company email to their personal email accounts.
- 18 percent say they've accessed websites that are blocked by their company's IT policy.
While using personal devices for work is a matter of convenience for employees, it's a matter of security for employers. Top security issues include corporate data leakage, malicious applications, violation of corporate use policies and regulatory compliance, all of which have the potential to compromise enterprise data. In the absence of enterprise mobility management solutions, risky employee behavior on mobile devices, whether accidental or malicious, is inevitable.
One approach for separating work and personal data is through "dual persona," where sensitive business information is encapsulated in a trusted workplace or container on the device. This means that corporate e-mail, corporate applications, and corporate documents all reside in a container separated from everything else. This containment approach allows IT to control what matters most for business, while not invading the personal privacy of the employee or their applications.
Despite the potential for data loss, less than one half of one percent of employees said they currently have such a solution installed on their personal devices. The good news for employees and employers alike is that there is an appetite among workers for these solutions. The survey showed 61 percent of employees who use personal mobile devices for work (and do not already have it) are at least somewhat likely to install such a solution if it was offered by their employer.
"Today's work environment is a comingled mash-up of personal and professional activities. It's not about sacrificing one for the other," said Jonathan Dale, director of marketing at Fiberlink. "Many organizations, including our customers, are starting to prefer the idea of a dual persona solution because it keeps enterprise data safe while allowing employees the freedom to work on their own devices."