Employees 'care more about securing personal data than work data'

UK workers take greater steps to protect personal files than work documents, a new study has revealed.

The survey of 2,000 full-time UK workers around the country carried out by Censuswide last year on behalf of Citrix, found what the virtualisation and cloud services firm described as "an alarming disparity in employee attitudes toward work and personal data".

Of those surveyed, 45 per cent said they regularly use passwords to secure documents at home, but only 35 per cent said they did so at work.

This contrast is even more stark when it comes to the destruction of physical documents. While nearly 70 per cent of respondents said they shred and dispose of unwanted personal documents, only 40 per cent do the same at work.

The survey also asked about people's attitudes towards device security. While almost 60 per cent of over 55s said they would only use work devices with trusted company security software, only 47 per cent of workers aged 25-34 could say the same.

This comparatively laid-back attitude could present a significant security risk for businesses if an unsecured device with access to the company network or data were compromised, Citrix claimed.

Chris Mayers, chief security architect at the company, said: "This research demonstrates that despite many individuals being well aware of basic precautions for handling their own personal data, too many are not so conscientious at work.

"Employers have a responsibility to provide the tools and safeguards: employees need to use them. Protecting a company's digital assets is a two-way street."

Jane McCallion
Deputy Editor

Jane McCallion is ITPro's Managing Editor, specializing in data centers and enterprise IT infrastructure. Before becoming Managing Editor, she held the role of Deputy Editor and, prior to that, Features Editor, managing a pool of freelance and internal writers, while continuing to specialize in enterprise IT infrastructure, and business strategy.

Prior to joining ITPro, Jane was a freelance business journalist writing as both Jane McCallion and Jane Bordenave for titles such as European CEO, World Finance, and Business Excellence Magazine.