Tuesday, 12 June 2012 17:13

Mobile devices pose challenge for workplace management

By

The loss and leakage of data is the biggest concern for Australian businesses due to employee use of their own mobile devices, including smartphones, laptops and tablets, at work, and according to a survey of IT managers more than one in three have no policies in place to manage employee use of their personal devices.

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At the same time, despite the lack of a policy, the research by Kaseya, a global provider of automated IT systems management software, found that more than half – 58 percent – of the 214 IT managers surveyed last month allowed over 80 percent of their staff to use mobile devices for business use in the workplace.

According to Kaseya’s Australia and New Zealand managing director, Dermot McCann, security remains the key concern for the IT managers, with 78 percent of respondents indicating that information accessed from their mobile device was critical or fairly important to the business and that in the event of a mobile device being comprised, more than one in three cases would result in the involvement of senior management.

McCann said that over 68 percent of Australians use mobile devices such as mobile phones, tablets, and laptops for business use in the workplace, 34 percent of organisations enabled staff to access the company network via a mobile device, while 36 percent also provided employees with access via the increasing popularity and availability of tablet solutions.

“The survey clearly points to the increasing prevalence of personal mobile devices in the workplace and employee desire to access information anywhere from any device.  Employees are becoming increasingly mobile, and critical business data is being dragged along with them. At the same time it would appear that IT managers are now in a situation where they need to extend robust IT systems management controls and security policies to all mobile devices – not just laptops, but all mobile end points.”

The survey also identified a range of key business applications that employees’ accessed via their mobile devices, with over 97 percent of users with mobile devices able to access their business email traffic, and 38 percent had access to company CRM data.

According to McCann, those IT managers surveyed said they were in the process of taking measures to ensure that business data on mobile devices remained secure, with 53 percent taking the initiative to store data centrally, 43 percent installing a remote wipe option, 42 percent regularly updating their security software, and 36 percent refreshing passwords regularly. “Surprisingly, only 33 percent claimed to conduct daily backups,” McCann said.


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired in 2020. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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