Mobile workers flout IT controls

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Mobile workers flout IT controls

European firms now plunge 32% of the telecom and networking budgets into mobility, according to a report by Forrester Research.

Attracted by the prospect of greater productivity, cost savings and higher staff morale, 70% of organisations have some type of mobile application and many see mobile strategy as a priority.

But according to research from Cisco, many remote workers ignore or resent IT trying to control the way they work away from the office.

In six out of the 10 countries surveyed, most remote workers expect their managers to dictate their behaviour and don’t respect the authority of the IT department. Some 38% of French remote workers take this even further, believing it’s no one’s business to control their usage at all.

Even though two-thirds of remote workers claim to be aware of security concerns, many openly flout the rules and open suspicious e-mails or access corporate files with personal devices.

Cisco chief security officer John Stewart says the IT department should establish itself as a trusted advisor on security and educate employees about their risks and responsibilities.

“IT has an opportunity – and obligation – to evolve its image and take a leadership role in making the connection between security risks and workers’ actions,” says Stewart.

Appointing security ambassadors, wide-scale training, focused internal communications and rewarding employees that follow etiquette correctly are just some of the initiatives Stewart recommends CIOs take to change end-user views.

“There’s something to be said for stepping out from behind the back-office veil and communicating with people,” says Stewart.

“Most IT security teams have yet to do this, and they’ve subsequently been cast in a reactive, secretive light that hampers their ability to prove to management that they can prevent productivity and data losses.”


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