Security Market Segment LS
Thursday, 01 May 2014 17:02

Employee attitudes ‘risk enterprise secrets’ Featured

Matt Ramsay, APAC Director Centrify Matt Ramsay, APAC Director Centrify

A lax attitude by enterprise employees in the US towards protection of corporate data stored on their personal devices should “sound a warning bell” for Australian enterprises, according to the Asia Pacific chief of one unified identity services vendor.

Centrify Asia Pacific director Matt Ramsay says a recently commissioned survey in the US found that many enterprise employees fail to protect the security of their mobile devices, with 15% saying they have “none to minimal” responsibility to protect corporate data stored on their personal devices.

And, according to Ramsay, the rapid uptake of mobile device use in Australia exposes local enterprises to the same risks identified by the Osterman Research survey, and “there’s no reason to believe the figures are any different in Australia.”

“The problem is many employees tend to think of a smartphone or iPad as a personal device rather than as an unlocked door to their employer’s confidential information. It’s clear that organisations not only need to continue to educate employees on the dangers and risks of mobile security, but should also look to solutions that safeguard the devices and applications which these employees have access to.”

Ramsay was speaking as Centrify announced that its channel revenue contribution globally, including in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region, nearly doubled in 2013, with strategic planning, enablement and lead generation efforts “accelerating channel contribution with expected 90% growth of channel contributed revenue” by the end of the fiscal year in June.

On the protection of corporate data on employee personal devices, Ramsay says the survey found that that 10% of US enterprise employees still do not have a password, PIN or other security measure enabled on the mobile device they use for work purposes, “potentially exposing organisations to grave risk.”

The survey also found that nearly 10% of respondents only think about their responsibility a few times a year, which Ramsay says identified “a real need for secure solutions that keep personal and corporate devices safe.” But, less than half of enterprise employees surveyed said they are hyper-aware of their mobile security, thinking about their responsibility to protect the corporate information on their personal device on a daily basis.

Ramsay said the survey showed that As Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) becomes the standard rather than the exception, enterprise employees are mixing work with play, and they are storing more corporate data among their personal information.

According to the survey, while enterprise employees in the US might be using best practices at work, they are now taking sensitive data with them into other aspects of their lives, “further reinforcing the need to provide a solution that secures both the device and applications.”

And, Centrify CEO Tom Kemp said “as the survey shows, corporate employees are now leveraging applications on their devices to get their jobs done,” and as a result, “there’s greater need than ever for unified security identity across multiple devices and platforms.”

On Centrify’s doubling of channel revenue globally, including in Australia, Ramsay says the “surging sales performance” is good news for Centrify partners, with all sales in Australia and Asia-Pacific going through the channel.

“These revenue trends, with the addition of leading channel partners to our global program, provide further validation for Centrify’s innovative data centre, Cloud and mobile security solutions.

“Our partners at all levels within our program are critical to the future success of Centrify, so we’re laser-focused on supporting our expanding partner community to help grow their businesses and meet the needs of their customers.”

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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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