As the bring your own device (BYOD) trend gathers momentum, companies are not protecting themselves by putting security policies in place, research shows.
As many as a quarter of manufacturing organisations based in the UK were shown to be allowing the use of personal devices on company networks, without the presence of formal policies, Intrinsic Technology found earlier this month.
The firm surveyed chief information officers from manufacturing companies with over 1,000 members of staff, to find that 50 per cent have embraced BYOD.
Formal policies need to cover areas such as what happens to devices once an employee parts with a company – it is all too easy for staff to leave with sensitive information at their disposal.
Steve Browell, chief technology officer at Intrinsic Technology, explained that while the benefits of BYOD are clear, companies need to carry out a security audit to ensure it does not cause problems for the wider organisation.
Mr Bromwell continued: "Internal IT departments have much less control over employee-owned devices, so cannot guarantee they have the latest security measures installed.
"Employee-owned devices are more likely to be exposed to malware and viruses outside work hours, which can then in turn access the corporate network and infect critical information."
He added that these devices also contain corporate data, which does not always have adequate protection in the event of theft or loss.
Intrinsic Technology urged businesses not to shy away from the BYOD trend, but rather to approach it in a way that promotes security and enables control to be maintained over corporate data.
This means that a clear and concise policy needs to be formulated on how devices should be used, which can put power back in the hands of the company and ensure it can reap the benefits of enabling the use of personal devices.