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Survey: BYOD workers fear and mistrust their IT departments

According to a new survey from Aruba Networks, almost half of European (45%), 40% of Middle Eastern and a whopping 66% of American respondents fear the loss of personal data from their employer. This reticence is driven by negative perceptions of corporate IT departments, particularly what the IT team might do with the employee’s personal device and data.

Of those surveyed, twenty-fiv in Europe, 31% in the Middle East and 45% in the USA worry about IT department access to their personal data, while 18% in Europe and 26% in the Middle East fear their IT department would interfere with their private data if they handed over their device.

The report also found that a further 34% of Europeans, 35% of Middle Easterners and more than half of Americans (51%) claim that their IT department takes no steps to ensure the security of corporate files and applications on their personal devices.

These concerns are leading many employees to keep their personal devices away from the IT department altogether, which is jeopardizing company data. Around one in six European workers (15%) and Middle Eastern and American employees (17%) have not told their employers that they use a personal device for work.

Even more concerning for business is that 13% of respondents in Europe, 26% in the Middle East and 11% in the US said that they would not report that their personal device had been compromised, even if it leaked company data. A further 40% of European workers, 41% of Middle Eastern workers and 36% of US employees would not report leaked data immediately. 

“The research from both sides of the Atlantic shows that employees and IT departments are gambling with data security, but chance isn’t the only factor,” said Ben Gibson, CMO of Aruba Networks in an emailed statement. “In short, employees resent the power their employers now wield over their personal data, but are equally unconcerned about keeping company data safe.”

When asked how they would feel if their personal data was accessed by their IT department, around half of all users across Europe and the Middle East described their reaction as “angry,” and 41% in Europe, 47% in the Middle East and 46% in the US said they would feel “violated” by the news.

“We are now well beyond the point of discussing Bring Your Own Device as something on the horizon,” Gibson continued. “It is a reality across the world and businesses need to adopt solutions that give their employees greater privacy for their personal data as well as exert greater network controls to ensure that sensitive information is not leaked, without disrupting the user experience.”

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