Workers 'free-style' with tech on office time

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Workers 'free-style' with tech on office time

Survey highlights lack of IT policy understanding.

A global survey of 2,000 office workers found them applying their own rules to technology use, regardless of official IT policy.

The survey was conducted by UK consultancy Loudhouse on behalf of security vendor Clearswift and involved 250 participants from Australia.

According to the vendor's report, 44 percent of office workers stored data at work on personal memory devices, 39 percent downloaded software, and 25 percent used personal social network accounts to comment about their job.

Only 14 percent of global respondents, and 12 percent of Australian respondents, used social media for work purposes.

"The boundaries between work and home use and appropriate and inappropriate use of technology are ever-shifting and essentially unclear," Clearswift reported.

Clearswift's report came after a Cisco survey found that social networking - including Facebook and YouTube - were banned at the workplaces of 39 percent of Australians.

Cisco found that 31 percent of Australians broke their companies' IT policies to access tools that they believed was necessary for their work.

According to Clearswift, one in five people believed that security breaches occurred "in order to get jobs done efficiently or effectively".

One in four felt that their company "could be better" at communicating guidelines and 62 percent blamed ignorance for security breaches suffered by their organisation.

The security vendor recommended that organisations introduce more regular training to educate workers on security and their IT policies.

"All too often, a policy is simply a document that is referred to only when something goes wrong - almost proof that someone 'should have known better'," stated Phil Vasic, Clearswift's Asia Pacific director.

"There is little or no point in having an IT security policy in place unless staff across the business is fully aware of it and, more importantly, understand the reasons why the rules are in place.

"Policy, not policing, is the answer to ensure confidence is well placed to tackle the challenges of managing Web 2.0 that organisations face."

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