IT | Security

Germans Believe in Strict Security But No Penalty for Device Loss

By: Absolute Team | 3/9/2014

Absolute Software just released the results of the 2013 Mobile Enterprise Risk Survey for Germany, showing that employees in Germany are just as lax with mobile security as they are in the US. The survey reveals that many German employees place a very low value on the corporate data on their phones, a mistake which could lead to data breach fines in the millions of dollars in the event of device or data loss.

In our Germany survey, which interviewed 750 workers, we found that 60% of respondents report that their work phone is separate from their personal use.

When it comes to ranking the importance of information on work phones, work contacts ranked first, followed by work files, work email, work apps and login details, showing a slightly different skew on how employees use devices in Germany vs in the US and in the UK. As with our other surveys, 59% of respondents placed the value of the corporate data on their phones at less than €350.

If firms don't set clear policies that reflect the priority of corporate data security, they can't expect employees to make it a priority on their own.

Key findings from the Germany 2013 Mobile Enterprise Risk Survey

  • It's not my problem - 33% of German employees feel that data security is not their responsibility.
  • It's not a big deal - While 77% of respondents agree that there should be some ramification to losing company data, 40% feel that restricting or monitoring access is the best solution. Of those who have experienced a lost phone, 60% report there was no penalty for the loss or that they only had a 'talking to.'
  • I didn't know - 64% of employees do not know what their company procedure is for lost phones, feel the policy is not clear, or report that their company lacks such a policy.
  • It can’t happen to me again - 60% of respondents who had lost their mobile phones stated that they did not change their security habits afterward
  • It's just a phone - 59% of respondents placed the value of the corporate data on their phones at less than €350

In Germany, 70% of employees feel they have strict security, with clear policies that are well enforced. Despite this belief, very few people (only 36%) felt their company has a clear policy for work phone loss and that the penalty for loss would be non-existent in almost all cases. When compliance fines in the half million dollar range are being levied due to data loss, it's clear that companies need to do a better job articulating clear mobile policies to employees.

Download the findings from the Absolute Software Germany 2013 Mobile Enterprise Risk Survey, or read our press release. Also check out the 2013 Mobile Enterprise Risk Survey for the US and the 2013 Mobile Enterprise Risk Survey for UK. Join the discussion on these results on Twitter #mobilerisk.