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Companies Admit Their Achilles’ Heel is Employees’ Mobile Devices

smartphone-security-11091402 Credit: Dreamstime.com

Protecting critical corporate data that can be accessed through employees' mobile devices is an issue that continues to keep IT executives up at night.

In a study commissioned by Dell KACE, 87 percent of surveyed companies reported that they are unable to effectively protect corporate data and intellectual property because of employees who use some kind of personal device for work – including laptops, smartphones and tablet computers.

Additionally, more than half of the information technology professionals surveyed feel their business or organization lacks the tools needed to effectively manage employees’ mobile devices.

Diane Hagglund, senior research analyst for Dimensional Research and the study’s author, said finding ways to manage the devices will become increasingly critical as more businesses see the value in a more mobile, efficient and connected work force .

"Consumer products are evolving into viable businesses tools, but according to our research, the majority of companies do not have a proper strategy in place to manage these devices, which opens them up to serious security risks," Hagglund said in a prepared release. "Consumerization of IT is not simply a passing trend – it is the way business will be conducted on an ongoing basis, especially in the small- and medium- business market. So it is critical that companies put policies and standards into place to support these devices to ensure the security of corporate and intellectual property."

The use of personal devices also has made it necessary for the majority of the businesses surveyed – nearly 60 percent – to support multiple operating systems. Sixty percent reported a greater demand for support of Mac OS X since the introduction of the Apple iPad and iPhone.

"The results of our latest survey represent a significant shift in how systems administrators manage their organization’s networks in today’s disparate global work force," Rob Meinhardt, general manager and co-founder of Dell KACE, said. "It’s absolutely essential that IT teams deploy a strategy that provides end-to-end management capabilities on a variety of operating systems to effectively protect networks."

More than 740 front-line IT professionals, IT managers and IT executives from a wide range of company sizes and industries were surveyed for the study.


Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based freelance writer who has nearly 15 years experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.