New research from data recovery specialists, Kroll Ontrack, reveals how companies that don’t regulate employee usage of business devices with effective IT policies are putting data security at risk.

The research highlights that in the last year, 38 per cent of UK employees downloaded personal files and 29 per cent of employees installed personal apps or programs on devices, which they also use for work.

Five per cent of people used P2P file sharing services, such as BitTorrent and Gnutella, the same percentage temporarily disabled firewall/antivirus software and 4 per cent of workers cancelled antivirus scans on these devices.

Kroll Ontrack warns that while many of these activities may seem secure, using P2P file sharing services and installing third-party apps can put a device in the path of dangerous malware or viruses, which may damage or corrupt devices, especially if protective software is disabled or not kept up to date.

This poses a major risk to data security with research highlighting that in the last year, around one in three (32 per cent) devices applied in both personal and work environments corrupted to the point where work information was irrecoverable.

Paul Le Messurier, Programme and Operations Manager at Kroll Ontrack commented:

As the line between work and personal life continues to blur, employees will increasingly conduct personal activities on a device they also work from. This will raise a number of issues for organisations, from data security through to productivity uncertainties.

As such, businesses must look to protect their assets, both digital and physical. Employers must educate employees on what activities are acceptable; develop a simple, but thorough IT usage policy; and ensure backups are in place and up to date for when disaster does strike.

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Written By: Tech on the Go Staff

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