ASEAN businesses may be at risk of data breaches as more than 1 in 3 (35 percent) are using unapproved personal devices for work, according to the findings of a new VMware, Inc. Digital Workspace Study.
The study revealed that 38 percent of respondents surveyed do not comply with their company’s IT policies or do not know them at all, increasing companies’ exposure to data breaches and business risks. Interestingly, Singapore topped the list, with 1 in 2 respondents (50 percent) who indicated that they do not always comply with IT policies or do not know them at all.
Thailand (88 percent) followed by Indonesia (86 percent) were the highest users of personal devices for work followed by Malaysia (79 percent) and Singapore (71 percent).
Sixty-five percent of users across the region use mobile devices to check work emails and 41 percent to access work files. Thirty-eight percent of users make use of mobile devices to conduct financial transactions. This functionality was the most popular in Thailand (52 percent) followed by Malaysia (37 percent). At 28 percent, respondents in Singapore were least keen on making financial transactions via a mobile device.
Business vulnerability could leapfrog
Business vulnerability to hacks and cyber-attacks could leapfrog as more than one in three (35 percent) of users who use personal devices for work, do not have them approved by IT and at least 38 percent do not comply with IT policies.
Singapore and Malaysia (both at 38 percent) had the highest proportion of all users who use unapproved personal devices at work closely followed by Indonesia (34 percent) and Thailand (30 percent).
At 50 percent, Singapore had the most number of people who did not always comply with IT policies or did not know them at all. This is followed by Malaysia at 42 percent, Indonesia (38 percent) and Thailand (24 percent).
Impact of interface experience on productivity
Struggles with end-user and interface experience could adversely impact productivity as at least 79 percent of all respondents had difficulties when using work apps.
Having too many passwords to remember (38 percent) was the top challenge with devices. At 45 percent, Singaporeans felt this challenge the most followed by 42 percent of Malaysians.
Issues with different interface experiences across devices (34 percent) and apps not syncing up perfectly across devices (32 percent) were the other two issues causing difficulties for the region.
Haven for attacks
Unsafe password practices could make businesses a haven for attacks as 33 percent use the same password across multiple devices and 29 percent save passwords as notes on their mobile device.
At least 37 percent of Thais and 31 percent of Singaporeans prefer to use the same password across devices. The trend is mirrored in Malaysia (29 percent) and Indonesia (25 percent).
Indonesians (32 percent) topped the list of respondents who use mobile devices to store passwords. This was followed by Malaysians (29 percent).
“In the digital era, employees, devices, applications and data increasingly live beyond the physical walls of the workplace,” said Ron Goh, President, Southeast Asia & Korea, VMware.
“As the benefits of digitization extend across the organization to include a broader set of employees and endpoints, there is an urgent need to balance consumer preferences with enterprise security. The gaps, vulnerabilities and inefficiencies unveiled by the VMware Digital Workspace Survey findings establish the need to plug the gaps that could significantly hinder ASEAN’s competitiveness and growth.”