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16 June 2014

As businesses begin to utilise growing technology areas such as laptops and tablets, it is important to remember these devices are more at risk from a cyber attack than the main network and need to be protected accordingly.

This comes from a recent survey conducted by US company Forrester Consulting, on behalf on Code42. The company surveyed more than 1,200 IT executives and employees at major businesses and found that firms are using these devices more and more, but are putting their entire operations at risk.

The data loss threat is not new, but as laptops and tablets become popular, businesses may need to look at data recovery and cloud computing to ensure no important information is lost.

As part of the survey, the respondents were asked if their business had suffered data loss and if so what the impact was. The most common response was the drain on IT department resources (38 per cent) followed by a loss of employee productivity (37 per cent) and the permanent loss of data (27 per cent).

The responsibility in this situation ultimately lies with the business in question. All firms should have adequate data security measures in place regardless of whether they have employees working on devices such as laptops and tablets or not.

Brian Bell, president and chief operating officer at Code42, said employers should teach workers about data security as well as invest in adequate backup technology.

"This new study demonstrates employees create and access company data on tablets, laptops and phones from anywhere at any time, at the risk of data loss," he said.

"Most don't intentionally expose corporate data to risk; they're just doing what it takes to get their work done."

Mr Bell explained once companies have backed up their data, it opens up a number of other opportunities for secure their operation moving forward such as e-discovery, disaster recovery and data migration.

"Endpoint backup is really the foundation for a comprehensive data governance strategy," he said.

Time for planning

Most companies surveyed by Forrester understand the importance of endpoint backup which can improve disaster recovery and strengthen the core of the business.

Nearly nine out of 10 respondents (85 per cent) have adopted recommended endpoint solutions or plan to in the near future. With data volumes and cyber threats only increasing, this could be a smart move for all businesses to think about.