Over Half Of UK Corporate Laptops Are Not Protected Against Theft Or Data Loss, Reveals Check Point Survey
November 2010 by Check Point
Check Point announced the findings of a new survey revealing that over half of UK public and private sector organisations are at risk of data breaches, losses and leaks from portable PCs and devices. A total of 52% of respondents said they do not use data or device encryption to secure their business laptops, and a further 8% admitted they didn’t know if encryption was in use.
Despite the lack of data security on laptops, 68% of organisations reported they had a VPN client deployed on their corporate fleet of portable PCs. This leaves a majority of businesses potentially vulnerable to unauthorised network access from lost or stolen laptops.
In addition, the survey of 130 UK IT managers and senior IT staff revealed a growing preoccupation among organisations over consumerisation of technology – employees using personal devices like laptops or smartphones for work purposes. Employees use personal devices for work in 55% of the organizations surveyed; yet 39% of the respondents said they had no formal process for deploying security to these devices.
Only 37% of the organisations prohibit the usage of laptops or smartphones for professional purposes, and 61% restrict access to the organisation’s network or data resources from personal devices.
Nick Lowe, Check Point’s head of sales for Western Europe said, “All the data security surveys conducted by Check Point in the UK in the last three years have consistently revealed similar results. The use of encryption on corporate laptops has not grown, with less than 50% having data encryption deployed. The HMRC data breach of three years ago stressed the need for data encryption, but a majority of businesses have not yet learnt the lesson. Data loss and breaches can strike anytime and affect any organisation, whether private or public.”
The study also raised the issue of corporate laptop allowances. 10% of respondents said that their company already offers – or plans to offer – personal ‘laptop allowances’ to employees so they can purchase their own laptop for both personal and business use. While 48% agree this will cut down IT expenditure, a majority (68%) were concerned about the security risks involved, and 76% feel this will increase IT management overhead.
“Consumerisation of business IT is also a clear concern among IT administrators. Many organisations haven’t set up an appropriate plan to secure the use of personal laptops and smartphones in the workplace. These vulnerabilities need to be addressed by a combination of education and technology so that organisations can protect their data, their business and their employees against security risks,” Lowe added.
The Check Point email survey, conducted together with eMedia, gauged the opinions of 130 senior IT staff, IT managers and IT directors across a wide range of UK companies from the public and private sectors.
Securing the remote workforce and simplifying mobile security for businesses and employees has been a key priority for Check Point. In March, Check Point introduced Abra, a plug-and-play USB solution that turns any PC into a fully secure, corporate desktop. Abra provides users instant access to company emails, files and applications anywhere whether offline or online through integrated virtual private network (VPN) connectivity. The solution loads itself automatically on any PC, and contains local encrypted storage to protect any data stored on the device.
More recently, Check Point announced Mobile Access Software Blade, a new solution based on its Software Blade Architecture that delivers fast and secure access to corporate email, data and business applications from mobile devices running on Apple, Android, Symbian and Windows PC platforms. By simply adding the new blade to its existing gateway, an organization can ensure its remote users secure connectivity to its intranet, corporate email and web applications and protect them against security threats. Users only need to download the free Check Point Mobile application on the Apple app store to instantly gain secure access to their corporate data.