Tuesday 20 August 2019

Warning over company data as workers move to personal phones

Hacking threat: Karen O’Connor, general manager of Datapac, says Irish companies must restrict access to data on workers’ personal devices
Hacking threat: Karen O’Connor, general manager of Datapac, says Irish companies must restrict access to data on workers’ personal devices

Shawn Pogatchnik

THE growth of remote working is increasing risks for Irish companies because too many workers leave mobile devices containing company data unprotected - and some won't tell their employer if a device is lost, a new report has found.

The Censuswide survey of 500 office workers nationwide, published today, discovered that 45pc use personal laptops, smartphones and tablets to access and store company documents and emails when they work remotely.

Of those using personal devices, 60pc said they used no encryption and 42pc used no anti-virus software. Only 25pc used a work-provided code or fob to gain remote access to work data. When asked, "If you lost that device, would you report it to your employer?" some 15pc wouldn't.

"Employers need to understand that this greatly increases the risk of suffering a data breach, which can expose sensitive customer and company information," said Ricky Knights, engagement manager for cyber-security firm Sophos. "Putting access rights management controls in place, implementing two-factor authentication processes, and restricting network access for unencrypted and unauthorised devices are all essential elements in guarding against hackers and rising cyber crime," said Karen O'Connor, general manager of IT security provider Datapac.

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