Centrify survey finds unmanaged Apple devices a corporate liability

A new survey has found that user-owned Apple devices are massive security threat to businesses.

The survey, by Dimensional Research, was commissioned by cyber-threat security company, Centrify Corporation, to determine penetration and security compliance of Apple devices in the workplace.

Of the total 2249 US workers surveyed, 45 per cent said they used at least one Apple device for work purposes.

Results showed the majority of devices (63 per cent) were owned by the user as opposed to the company, and are used to access work email, corporate documents and business applications.

The study also discovered that 59 per cent of Macs are used to access confidential company information and 65 per cent are used to access regulated customer information.

Also 51 per cent of iPhones in the workplace are used to gain access to business applications with 58 per cent of iPads used for the same purpose.

Despite the popularity of Apple devices in the workplace, the survey found businesses do not invest enough resources to secure or manage them.

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The survey found 51 per cent of devices were secured by a password consisting of just a single word or series of numbers whilst 58 per cent did not have adequate software installed to enforce strong passwords.

Additionally, more than half of respondents (56 per cent) reported sharing their passwords with others. Only 17 per cent of Apple devices were installed with a company-supplied password manager, and only 28 per cent of devices had company-provided management solutions installed.

“Centrify’s Apple survey spotlights the massive exposures that occur when devices do not comply with standard corporate security policies. In particular, customer data represents a huge liability,” said Centrify senior vice president of products and marketing, Bill Mann.

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"Disclosure of regulated information such as healthcare records could expose corporations to fines and other legal action. Most importantly, there are solutions on the market today that can handily secure Apple devices without sacrificing user productivity. It’s time for IT to take action,” he said.

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By Holly Morgan

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