80% of employees use personal devices for work, but many fail to keep them safe and secure

The enterprise-minded Research In Motion won’t be happy to hear the results of a Harris Interactive poll conducted for security firm ESET. The findings revealed that more than 80% of adult employees use “some kind of personally owned electronic device for work-related functions.”

BYOD went from trend to household staple, and fast. Which has left IT departments scrambling to keep sensitive work data secure. After all, 47% of employees access or store company information on their personal desktops; 41% do so on their personal laptops; 24% do so on their personal smartphones; and 10% do so on their personal tablets.

But BYOD users do not think like IT departments—they neglect security. Only one third of employees encyrpt company data, and auto-lock enablers are in the minority (33% of laptops, 25% of smartphones, and 10 of tablets store company data are auto-locked).

Still, the solutions are simple. Make auto-locking mandatory. Turn on password protection. Enable encryption. These obvious tactics will instantly eradicate the vast majority of potential issues that may arise from a BYOD world.

“These things are relatively easy to do on the most widely used BYOD devices where these features are often built in, so the cost is low: basically the price of a little security awareness and education,” says ESET security researcher Cameron Camp. “The cost of not taking these steps could be suffering the scariest kind of security breach, the kind that was easily preventable by basic BYOD security best practices.”