Data security

Most employees use personal devices to store business documents

Caroline Baldwin

Over 90% of enterprise workers use personal devices to store, share and access work documents.

A study of 2,000 UK office workers has found that companies are at risk of data security breaches due to employees relying on devices and consumer cloud services to store business documents.

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The research, carried out for Huddle, stated that 91% of workers use personal devices to access and store work documents, while 43% use personal cloud services for the same purpose.

More than a fifth use Dropbox to store enterprise documents, while 14% use Apple iCloud and 13% use Google Drive.

Additionally, the research revealed that 60% of enterprise employees use external hard drives and 46% use USB drives. 

“Failed by legacy technologies, such as SharePoint, which were designed to keep content locked inside an organisation, employees are looking for easy ways to access what they need,” said Alastair Mitchell, CEO of the content collaborator, Huddle

“This has resulted in a free-for-all use of personal cloud services, external hard drives, smartphones and USBs, turning the enterprise content store into a giant, unruly jigsaw puzzle,” he added.

The research also found that over half of the workforce (56%) want to be able to work from anywhere, while 52% want to be able to access all of their work from one place.

These statistics demonstrate the increasing trend of bring your own device (BYOD) and the risks that enterprises have to face.

According to the head of Citrix in the EU, Carlos Sartorius, BYOD strategies are being adopted faster in Europe than the US.

However, he conceded there were still issues when it came to regulations, which could discourage some European companies from embracing BYOD.

“On the worker side, it is related to the fact that if you tell your employees to bring their own device, one might have a few pounds more and buy a nicer machine than another could afford," said Sartorius. "That worker might then say, 'She can do a better job than me because she has the better machine'.

“On a regulatory basis, it is also who pays the taxes," he added. "It gets to this extreme because if the company says, 'I am going to give you £500 or £1,000 to buy your own device', then that is an additional income, so how do you treat it from a tax perspective?”


Image: Jupiter Images/Thinkstock


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