Nearly half of all U.K. employees are using USB storage devices buy only 81 percent are encrypting them to protect company data.
Mobile workers using laptops are slightly more likely to encrypt but three-quarters still did not.
"The portability, speed and capacity of USB keys have made them popular, but there is always the risk they will be misplaced, lost or stolen," Katja Pryss, marketing manager at encryption company Steganos. "Apart from any moral or legal obligations companies might have to protect personal data in their care, much of the information stored on USB keys is strategic and potentially damaging to the business if leaked."
Pryss added that companies are increasing using USB keys to comply with mobile working standards, but are letting security slip as a result.
Encryption in an age of mobile working is becoming an increasing talking point. In April SC reported an unencrypted Ministry of Defence (MoD) laptop was found on a dump. It contained military secrets and anti-terrorist plans was found on a dump.