Half of employees could be exposing confidential company data online

Employees could be unknowingly exposing their company’s confidential data to cyber criminals, according to research from IT staffing provider Modis.

According to the research, over half (51%) of employees with a company smartphone never consider whether they are compromising customer security when uploading or downloading data to their phone. 

A further 50% said they were similarly lax when using company PCs or laptops. 

In addition, employee knowledge of policies around cyber crime is poor. Two in five employees (40%) said they weren’t aware of company security policies around using phones, 27% said they were unaware of data protection policies around using email and 25% were unaware of policies around using a company PC.

Roy Dungworth, managing director of Modis, said: “The rise of flexible working and cloud computing through different devices that operate online has created a multitude of points at which cyber criminals can access a company’s data.

“With cyber security such a high profile issue, employers are now aware of the risks, but few realise that their own employees are their greatest vulnerability.”

He added: “Employers must be explicit about the policies which govern the way their employees use every piece of hardware and software at their disposal, from laptops and tablets through to email and the intranet.

“Every time an employer introduces a new device to enable employees to work remotely, robust policies must be made and communicated as part of the introduction of these devices.”

The research of over 1,200 UK employees was carried out between March and April 2013.