Fifty percent of UAE employees would not report phone breach

Research by Aruba Networks shows that 39% of UAE workers would not report a data leakage to their employers

Tags: Aruba NetworksUnited Arab Emirates
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Fifty percent of UAE employees would not report phone breach 50% of UAE employees would not report a data breach on their personal device to their employer, according to a study by Aruba. (Getty Images)
By  Georgina Enzer Published  July 4, 2013

Fifty percent of workers in the UAE would not report that their personal device had been compromised, even if it leaked company data, according to a study by mobile network access solutions provider Aruba Networks. In addition, 39% of UAE workers would not report leaked data immediately to their IT department or employer.

The global study revealed that workers using their own mobile device for work remain fearful of their employer accessing their personal information. However, misconceptions about the role and remit of the IT department and the needs of corporate computer security are causing employees to keep their personal devices away from the IT department, which is jeopardising company data.

From a global perspective 45% of employees fear the loss of personal data, followed by 40% of Middle Eastern workers and 66% of Americans. A significant proportion of UAE workers - over 17% - have not even told their employers that they use a personal device for work, according to Aruba's survey, which asked 3,014 people from select European nations (France, Germany, Spain and the UK) and two countries from the Middle East (Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates) about the use of their smartphones for business purposes.

This reticence is driven by perceptions of corporate IT departments. Namely, what the IT team might do to their precious personal device and data. Thirty-three percent of workers in the UAE worry about IT department access to their personal data, while 24% of the UAE fear their IT department would interfere with their private data if they handed over their device. In comparison across the globe, 45% in the US worry about IT department access to their personal data, followed by 31% in the Middle East and 25% in Europe.

Such concerns over personal data may stem from the belief that not enough is being done to protect sensitive business information. Twenty eight percent of polled employees in the UAE claim that their IT department takes no steps to ensure the security of corporate files and applications on their personal devices.

When asked how they would feel if their personal data was accessed by their IT department, 47% of users in the UAE described their reaction as ‘angry' and 53% would feel ‘violated' by this news.

"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. In short, employees resent the power their employers now wield over their personal data, but are equally unconcerned about keeping company data safe. We are now well beyond the point of discussing Bring Your Own Device as something on the horizon. 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 exerting greater network controls to ensure that sensitive information is not leaked, without disrupting the user experience," said Ammar Enaya, general manager of Aruba Networks.

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