Portable storage and mobile device management lacking in UK businesses

Figures show that UK firms are less well equipped to protect the data stored on mobile devices and portable storage solutions than their European counterparts.

A study carried out by Absolute Software found that 65 per cent of IT managers working in the UK do not have any way of identifying where the mobile devices owned and operated by their business are located at a given point in time.

This compares poorly to the 50 per cent of clueless managers in France and 41 per cent in Germany, showing that many UK organisations need to step up their ability to manage mobile devices and keep tabs on their usage and whereabouts, in order to safeguard the sensitive data which they regularly store, necessarily mitigating the risk of loss.

Six per cent of IT managers from the UK claimed that they have automated systems in place to monitor the whereabouts of corporate laptops, which is still lower than both Germany and France, where this type of ability is present in 13 per cent of businesses.

Absolute Software’s Dave Everitt, said that the figures prove how UK managers are unable to properly monitor and protect mobile devices and portable storage, consequently leaving data out in the open to be lost or stolen and exposing businesses to damaging data loss scandals, which could result in punitive action by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

Mr Everitt pointed out that while replacing the physical technology would be a minor expense, it is the data stored on mobile devices which is the most valuable to an organisation, meaning that in the event of loss or theft, the costs can quickly multiply.

Experts acknowledge that IT managers can have a tough time keeping track of mobile devices and Mr Everitt said that the increasing number of people using personal smartphones for business purposes was compounding the problem.

IT managers are advised to remain adaptable and work with employees in order to better manage and control the use of mobile devices and portable storage.

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