Enterprises are at an increasing risk for data loss due to the growing amount of company data stored on endpoints—the laptops, smartphones, tablets and other devices which reside on the edge of the network.
These are the results of a new study, conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Code42, is based on surveys of more than 1,200 IT decision-makers and employees at U.S.-based enterprise companies. The results show an increasing number of employees use a combination of laptops, tablets and smartphones for work purposes.
This growing “anywhere, anytime, any-device” workplace means corporate data stored locally on devices is at a heightened risk of being lost or stolen since it resides outside the safety of the data center and enterprise firewall.
The study also points to the onus on IT to protect data on the devices on which employees work. “Over half of employees surveyed for Forrester’s Devices and Security Workforce Survey Q2 2013 assume their companies back up their most important files, whether or not this is actually true. However, many employees will also use their own methods of protecting critical data, especially if there is no corporate offering. Case in point: 41 percent of employees back up critical files using a flash drive or CD/DVD, and 28 percent back up to an external hard drive or server they own.”
Fortunately, organizations recognize the importance of endpoint backup, and for good reason. According to the Forrester study, 85 percent of organizations that have adopted—or plan to adopt—endpoint backup solutions cite improving business continuity/disaster recovery as the top driver. Just under half of organizations attribute adoption to employees storing critical data on endpoints, followed by 43 percent wishing to maintain control of data, and 34 percent pointing to e-discovery and/or legal hold through centralization as a driver.
According to Forrester Consulting, “Nearly two-thirds of respondents indicated that their organization has experienced data loss at the endpoint due to reasons such as lost or stolen devices or accidental deletion of files.” The study also states, “relying on traditional firewalls and local file shares is no longer enough when it comes to securing and backing up this critical, sensitive data.”
“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,” said Brian Bell, president and chief operating officer at Code42. “Most don’t intentionally expose corporate data to risk; they’re just doing what it takes to get their work done. So it’s up to enterprise IT to make sure data on devices is protected. Once that data’s backed up, your company can more easily take on initiatives around e-discovery, legal hold, disaster recovery and data migration. Endpoint backup is really the foundation for a comprehensive data governance strategy.”