News Feature | December 17, 2014

Study: 90% Use Mobile Devices For Work, 20% Receive Security Training For Them

Christine Kern

By Christine Kern, contributing writer

90% Use Mobile Devices For Work, 20% Receive Security Training For Them

A study shows some businesses engage in risky mobile behavior, with nearly 90 percent of survey respondents’ employees using mobile devices at work, despite less than one-quarter of them receiving mobile security training.

The study, The Security Impact of Mobile Device Use by Employees, conducted by the Ponemon Institute and Accellion, Inc., revealed that 88 percent of those surveyed are accessing confidential information on mobile devices, but only 20 percent reported having been offered security training for mobile content access and management in the workplace. Of that 20 percent, 74 percent said that the training provided was not effective in reducing the security risks created by the use of mobile devices.

The findings suggest that enterprises will have to implement solutions to enable mobile workflows for employees without increasing information security risks.

The study also found that employees are unaware of the risks of using unapproved mobile apps for work:

  • 66 percent reported downloading and using mobile apps that are not company-approved.
  • Only 19 percent checked to be sure that downloaded apps did not contain viruses or malware.
  • Only 22 percent think such behavior puts their company at risk.

Survey participants also deny knowingly putting their company’s confidential information at risk themselves with BYOD (bring-your-own-device) practices, but 75 percent believe others in their companies are guilty of doing so.

“The results from this recent Ponemon study show that employees are generally unaware of the security risks of accessing and sharing corporate information on mobile devices,” Paula Skokowski, CMO of Accellion said in the press release. “Employees looking to use mobile devices to be more productive continue to download and use potentially harmful apps and do not understand the security implications of these actions.”

The study was designed to examine employees’ perceptions regarding the secure use of mobile devices to access corporate information. Researchers surveyed 709 individuals in areas of sales, finance and accounting, corporate IT, business operations, and other functions. The study demonstrated that employees have a growing dependency on mobile devices to access corporate information, which has an impact on their productivity.

To read the entire study, please download the report.