Orange has offered tips on improving data security after research it commissioned found that 26 per cent of SMEs consider protection from security risks their least important business priority.
This is despite awareness of risks, with 78 per cent of those surveyed concerned that data theft or the loss of a mobile device or laptop could affect their business.
Of the 250 SME IT managers/business owners surveyed between May 20-27, eleven per cent claimed to have lost revenue due to data loss from a device and 12 per cent said they had lost competitively sensitive material through security problems.
The survey found that business attitudes towards data security varied. It found that businesses in Northern Ireland were most aware of security risks with 50 per cent ranking it as their business prioirty. In the North East however, none of the SMEs questioned regarded information security as their top prioirty.
If a business loses or has a mobile device stolen, 18 per cent are able to wipe them remotely. Thirty-eight per cent rely on passwords alone to protect their mobiles and laptops, instead of adopting additional measures such as automatic wiping or locking facilities.
The research found that half of those surveyed don’t seek specialist help and advice they may need to protect themselves. It also revealed that 89 per cent of businesses only have styandard security measures in place such as anti-virus or firewall protection.
Orange has offered a number of tips to avoid data loss, such as backing up devices to avoid permanently avoid losing information, adding an extra level of security to a password function, settin usage and access restrictions if devices are being shared between employees or used by some employees for both work and personal use and using the factory reset application to wipe any sensitively stored information on the device before passing it to a new employee.
The operator said that its Device Management security service should be considered, which can lock or wipe data from devices if they are lost or stolen, as well as remotely enforcing password policies and having an alarm sent to the user for any unauthorised high risk downloading of applications and software.
Orange UK director of small and medium business Martin Lyne said: “Our research highlights that it is not just about having the right technology – small and medium businesses also need to know how to use and protect their data. With only a third (37 per cent) of companies training staff on how to securely use business devices, we encourage business owners to educate themselves and their employees in device security best practice to make sure they are tacking the potential risks before they become security breaches – and most importantly, beforew they lose revenue as a result.”