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How employees’ holiday technology risks impact corporate networks

Survey reveals that over a quarter of respondents planning a trip abroad in 2011 admitted they would connect their devices to any available PC. And more than half confessed to inserting the same gadgets into their work PCs.

Research conducted by LANDesk Software suggests that a quarter of consumers are putting their employer’s networks at risk of viruses, malware and worms. The research shows that holiday makers are irresponsibly plugging gadgets such as digital cameras, smartphones, mp3 players and USB sticks into home, work, public and foreign PCs, without taking the necessary antiviral measures.

The survey found that almost 75 percent of holidaymakers travel with gadgets to maintain consistent access to email, Facebook and Twitter. Digital cameras are the most popular gadgets taken across borders (62 percent), followed by laptops (58 percent) and smartphones/iPhones (38 percent and 33 percent respectively). Over a quarter of the respondents planning a trip abroad in 2011 admitted they would connect their devices to any available PC. And more than half confessed to inserting the same gadgets into their work PCs.

“Connecting gadgets to the corporate network obviously poses a major risk for companies, as people return from their holidays with potentially unwanted souvenirs in their software, causing the IT department the ultimate holiday hangover,” said Nigel Seddon, area director, LANDesk Software.

A previous survey by LANDesk concluded that 74 percent of staff bring their own equipment with them to work, be it mp3 players, smartphones or USBs. With these statistics in mind, companies could face increased costs in fighting malware as employees return from their holidays abroad.

Seddon advises, “IT departments need the ability to manage and secure all user devices across multiple platforms. If an organization’s current infrastructure does not automatically discover these devices as they attach to corporate data, to control an environment where both personal and secure corporate-owned data are inter-mingled—and if it’s not based upon tiered functionality and role-based administration—then maybe it’s time to re-evaluate.”

The research was conducted amongst 367 consumers through an online survey and questionnaires at the InfoSec show in April 2011.

www.landesk.com

•Date: 3rd June 2011 • Region: UK •Type: Article • Topic: ISM

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