Research carried out for Apricorn, highlights a lack of rigor and consistency when it comes to protecting data poses significant security risks, as 70 per cent of IT decision makers agree that securing corporate data is an ongoing battle.

The research, conducted by Vanson Bourne, found that around a third (29 per cent) of surveyed organisations have already experienced either a data loss or breach as a direct result of mobile working. A significant proportion – as many as 44 per cent – expect that mobile workers will expose their organisation to the risk of a data breach.

Underlining this concern, almost half (48 per cent) of the surveyed companies say employees are one of their biggest security risks. The survey results show that mobile working is a major problem as companies are still uncertain how to enforce adequate security policies, and many have no viable strategies in place.

As mobile devices extend the boundary of the corporate network, ensuring confidentiality, integrity and availability of the data that the devices access, process and store is a constant challenge. Fifty-three per cent of surveyed companies said that managing all of the technology that employees need and use for mobile working is too complex, while 35 per cent complain that technology for secure mobile working is too expensive.

The survey also found that one in ten companies with over 3,000 employees do not have a security strategy that covers remote working and BYOD. One in ten companies, regardless of size, don’t have a strategy that covers removable media, such as USB sticks. Removable devices such as compact flash drives can pose a huge risk to businesses, not only because they are easy to lose or steal, but also in terms of the malware they can introduce to networks.

Worryingly, roughly a quarter (23 per cent) of surveyed organisations admit that they have no way of enforcing relevant security strategies they have in place, which is almost as risky as having no policy whatsoever.

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