More than half of Australian businesses have no personal device policies: Acronis

Latest research by backup vendor reveals growing number of businesses are not managing their mobile devices

About 57 per cent of Australian businesses have no personal device policy in place, according to the 2013 Data Protection Trends Research by Acronis.

Acronis APAC mobility solutions sales director, Simon Howe, admits that a growing number of local organisations do not have a policy in place to govern how devices are used or how data is deployed to those devices.

“With those that do have a policy, exceptions to it are sometimes made,” he said.

“In some cases, the exceptions are for the part of the workforce that is potentially carrying the most sensitive data.”

As organisations are increasing allowing employee owned devices into the environment, Howe said IT is faced with “balancing the security and the availability of data” on those devices.

“What our research identified is that most organisations are allowing employees to bring in their own devices, and only a third do not,” he said.

Another key discovery in the research was that only 32 per cent of companies require a device password or key lock on a personal device.

Howe said this is an indication that simple security measures, such as device passwords and code locks, are being overlooked.

“A lot of organisations are not implementing the remote wipe capability when an employee leaves and organisation,” he said.

Cloud confusion

When it comes to the Cloud, the research uncovered that 74 per cent of Australian businesses do not have a policy in place around public Clouds.

Howe sees this as a sign that the risk around the Cloud is often overlooked, and that most organisations do not have a policy around the use of those services.

“So anyone with an Internet connection can connect to a Cloud service to share or access files,” Howe said.

Additionally, the report found that 80 per cent of organisations in Australia are not training staff in any way in the risks with Cloud and BYOD.

Since these results highlight a number of key challenges and risks around the way people are implementing these next technologies, Howe hopes that the survey informs and educates the marketplace about the issues.

“In the process, they can learn about the simple things they could be doing to embrace them in a safe manner,” he said.

From a channel perspective, Howe said the opportunities lie in addressing the education gap.

“The reseller can assist by educating customers on some of the risks and best practices,” he said.

“They can also help in offering services and solutions to assist them in that process.”

Patrick Budmar covers consumer and enterprise technology breaking news for IDG Communications. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_budmar.

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