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A worrying 1 in 5 businesses lose data to mobile device theft

The results of a new survey from Kaspersky Lab (opens in new tab) show that the rate of mobile device theft is increasing but over the same period the time taken for IT departments to respond has increased.

Part of this is down to employees taking longer to report mobile loss or theft. Only half report the theft of a mobile device within a day with 38 per cent taking up to two days and nine percent waiting between three and five days.

In 2014 25 per cent of companies have experienced the theft of a mobile device, compared to only 14 per cent in 2011. Most concerning though is that 19 per cent of those surveyed say that mobile device theft has resulted in the loss of business data.

Read more: The 10 Commandments of BYOD (opens in new tab)

The survey of over 3,900 IT security professionals also finds that 52 per cent are more concerned about mobile risks than in previous years, 43 per cent believe that mobile working patterns pose too much risk, and 42 per cent belive that BYOD policies pose increased risk to the business.

"The survey results clearly indicate that IT managers are dealing with multiple security challenges associated with a mobile workforce, and as the use of mobile devices in the workplace continues to grow, employees appear to be less engaged in helping secure mobile platforms," says Stephen Russell, Kaspersky Lab's corporate communications manager.

All of this highlights the need for businesses to have a mobile device management policy. Kaspersky also suggests that having an MDM policy managed through the same console as the company’s other endpoint security software can enable IT managers to enforce policies customised to each individual employee, including 'containerization' to keep business information on mobile devices encrypted and separated from personal data on employee-owned devices.

These results are part of Kaspersky's 2014 IT Security Risks Survey (opens in new tab) which is available on the company’s website where you can also find details of Kaspersky Security for Mobile (opens in new tab).

Photo credit: cunaplus (opens in new tab) / Shutterstock (opens in new tab)

Ian Barker worked in information technology before discovering that writing about computers was easier than fixing them. He has worked for a staff writer on a range of computer magazines including PC Extreme, was editor of PC Utilities, and has written for TechRadar, BetaNews, IT Pro Portal, and LatestGadgets.