Imation Corp. (NYSE: IMN), a global scalable storage and data security company, today revealed the results of a recent online survey of 500 IT decision makers in the U.S., Canada, Germany and the U.K., conducted in January, 2013 by Harris Interactive on behalf of Imation. According to the survey, IT decision makers are significantly less confident in the security of data accessed by employees on the road or at home, despite the fact that mobile device security policies are widely in place and enforced.
Key findings in the survey include:
- Confidence in corporate data security is high in the office, significantly lower for teleworkers and road warriors —The survey asks IT decision makers about their confidence that data is protected from loss or theft while workers are in the office, at home and traveling on the road. The percentage of respondents replying “extremely confident” or “very confident” drops as a worker is more “mobile.” For workers who are in the office, 73 percent of IT decision makers across all geographies are either “extremely confident” or “very confident” that data accessed by employees is protected from loss or theft. For employees working at home, that number drops to 55 percent and further still to 47 percent for workers “on the road.”IT decision makers in the United States are slightly more confident than other countries in the security of their data when a worker is in the office, with some 76 percent of U.S. respondents saying they are “extremely confident” or “very confident.” But that number drops to 57 percent for employees working from home and 49 percent for employees on the road.
- IT decision makers expect more mobile workers despite data security risk concerns—Compounding the confidence gap, the survey found that across all countries surveyed, at least 20 percent of employees, on average, worked remotely in 2012, and IT decision makers expect that figure to increase to at least 25 percent in 2013. This is in line with IDC’s prediction that the world’s mobile worker population will reach 1.3 billion by 2015 – representing 37.2 percent of the total workforce.
- Workforce mobility creates concerns despite widespread enforcement of mobile device security policies —The vast majority (95 percent) of those surveyed had a mobile device usage policy. Eighty-three percent of IT decision makers surveyed in the U.S. say the policy exists and is enforced, mirroring a similar number in the U.K. (80 percent). In Canada, 73 percent of those surveyed said the policy existed and was enforced, while in Germany the number was 53 percent.
“The confidence gap among IT security pros—despite enforced security policies on mobile devices—demonstrates the disconnect between the policies themselves and user behavior. The fact is that the policies can’t control what users do with the organization’s data,” said Lawrence Reusing, Imation’s general manager for Mobile Security. “Imation’s IronKey™ solutions address the very different environments for employees working outside the office, so that IT pros can be as confident in the security of data accessed outside the office as they are in the security of data accessed at workers’ desks. Solutions exist today to eliminate the confidence gap by placing a secure and very mobile workspace in the hands of all workers, with centralized management and controls.”
Additional Key FindingsThe survey results are rich with insight regarding corporate policies on smartphone and USB device usage, deprovisioning policies and IT decision makers’ concerns regarding the consequences of data breaches. Among the additional findings:
- Most companies allow USB flash drives—Despite highly public examples of security breaches caused by employee use of USB devices, 85 percent of companies across all geographies surveyed allow the use of USB flash drives, with only 17 percent of IT decision makers in the U.S. prohibiting them and slightly lower percentages across Canada (10 percent), Germany (13 percent) and U.K. (12 percent).
- Most companies require only company approved mobile devices—The majority of companies enforce their mobile device policy by allowing employees to only use company approved devices. In the U.S., almost six in ten said their company enforces the mobile device policy by only allowing employees to use approved devices (59 percent), while 38 percent say their employees are only allowed to used devices supplied by their company. Other results were similar (Canada 69 percent/30 percent; U.K. 65 percent/35 percent; Germany 56 percent/44 percent).
- IT decision makers worry about exposing proprietary information to the competition—When asked about the potential consequences of a data breach, IT decision makers in the U.S. (39 percent) and U.K. (32 percent) said they are most concerned that lost or stolen corporate data will potentially expose their company’s proprietary information to a competitor.
- Deprovisioning processes vary—When an employee leaves a company, IT staff at U.S. (28 percent) and U.K. (24 percent) companies are most likely to deprovision the devices themselves, while in Canada (50 percent) and Germany (31 percent) IT staff are most likely to configure firewalls or other internal systems to block device access.