IT | Security

UK Employees Likely to Repeat Data Security Mistakes

By: Absolute Editorial Team | 3/6/2014

Absolute Software just released the results of the 2013 Mobile Enterprise Risk Survey for the UK, which mirrors many of the same findings in our US Mobile Enterprise Risk Survey, also released today. The survey reveals that many UK 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 UK survey, which interviewed 750 workers, we found that fewer employees use the same phone for work and personal use. When it comes to ranking the importance of information on work phones, work contacts ranked 1st, with work email, login details for corporate accounts, work files and work apps following. As with the findings in our US survey, 71% of respondents put a low value on their phone's corporate data, rating it as worth less than ₤300.

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 UK 2013 Mobile Enterprise Risk Survey

  • It's not my problem - 23% of UK 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, 68% report there was no penalty for the loss or that they only had a 'talking to.'
  • I didn't know - 59% 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 - 67% of respondents who had lost their mobile phones stated that they did not change their security habits afterward
  • It's just a phone - 71% of respondents put a low value on their phone's corporate data, rating it as worth less than ₤300
In the UK, there is a greater sense that, though employees believe workplace security is well communicated, and in many cases well enforced, the enforcements for data or device loss are not changing behaviours regarding the value of these devices. Employees place little to no value on their devices and believe that no punishment will come to them if the devices go missing. 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 UK 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 Germany. Join the discussion on these results on Twitter #mobilerisk.