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Businesses still failing to implement proper IT policies for work devices

A new piece of research has been brought to light by Kroll Ontrack, and it shows how firms who aren't properly regulating their staff's usage of devices are playing fast and loose with data security.

The report found that 38 per cent of employees in the UK downloaded personal files on a work device, and 29 per cent installed personal apps.

Furthermore, 5 per cent admitted to using peer-to-peer file sharing services like BitTorrent to download material to their work device, and 4 per cent where happy to temporarily disable security software (antivirus and firewall). P2P carries obvious risks, and indeed so do third-party apps, particularly if they're picked up outside of Google Play in the case of Android hardware.

All these factors can pose a risk to data on a device, and in terms of data loss, the research found that in the last year, 32 per cent of devices used for both personal and work ends were corrupted to the point where work data was lost and irrecoverable. That seems an awfully high percentage, for sure.

Related: If security is hampering your business, you need to look at your security policy (opens in new tab)

Paul Le Messurier, Programme and Operations Manager at Kroll Ontrack, said: "As the line between work and personal life continues to blur, employees will increasingly conduct personal activities on a device they also work from. This will raise a number of issues for organisations, from data security through to productivity uncertainties."

"As such, businesses must look to protect their assets, both digital and physical. Employers must educate employees on what activities are acceptable; develop a simple, but thorough IT usage policy; and ensure backups are in place and up to date for when disaster does strike."

Related: 87% of workers in businesses with no BYOD policy unhappy (opens in new tab)

Darran has over 25 years of experience in digital and magazine publishing as a writer and editor. He's also an author, having co-written a novel published by Little, Brown (Hachette UK). He currently writes news, features and buying guides for TechRadar, and occasionally other Future websites such as T3 or Creative Bloq and he's a copy editor for TechRadar Pro. Darrran has written for a large number of tech and gaming websites/magazines in the past, including Web User and ComputerActive. He has also worked at IDG Media, having been the Editor of PC Games Solutions and the Deputy Editor of PC Home.