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SANs Survey Reveals Organizations Lack Control Over Mobile Workspaces

More than 64 Percent of Mobile Workers Can Access High Value Data Remotely while One in Three Devices Are Unmanaged

Oakdale, Minn. — May 14, 2015 — Imation Corp. (NYSE:IMN), a global data storage and information security company, today announced the results of a survey of 330 IT and security professionals conducted by SANS. The goal of the survey was to better understand the challenges of securing today’s mobile workforce and managing mobile workspaces. More than 64 percent of survey respondents said a majority of their mobile workforce can access their organizations’ secure data remotely, yet less than 25 percent said sufficient policies/controls are in place for mobile media (i.e. USB drives). An additional 25 percent admitted to having no controls (no policy or technical controls enforced by centralized management) in place. The unmanaged personal computers, laptops, smartphones and tablets that make up almost one-third of the mobile bring-your-own-devices (BYOD) used to access corporate data, combined with lack of controls, leave organizations vulnerable to data exposure.

A top data exposure risk was from malware introduced via unmanaged devices (13.6 percent). Loss or theft of corporate devices was also a major concern for 12.6 percent of respondents; only 13 percent of firms with more than 10,000 employees and 7 percent with 500 to 10,000 employees said they encrypt data on their USB devices.

The survey confirms that despite most organizations’ lack of readiness to support a mobile workforce, the number of mobile employees using BYOD is still growing. According to the survey, 32 percent of organizations expect at least 60 percent of their workforce to be mobile in the next 12 months. With the growth of the mobile workforce, it is important for organizations to quickly gain control through the use of managed mobile devices and workspaces. Currently 63 percent of mobile workers use computer hard drives, not a managed secure point of access, to access corporate data. More than half of respondents reported mobile media (USB drives) are unmanaged, and 43 percent do not manage all the desktops used by mobile workers. The vast number of unmanaged devices accessing corporate data heightens data security risks and makes it impossible for IT to fully protect the organization.

With today’s reality of high-profile hacks, it is unsurprising that 84 percent responded that security is high, extremely high or critical for a mobile workforce. The number and different types of BYOD being brought into the workplace make it difficult to easily, quickly and affordably provision them. Nearly half of the respondents cited configuring/reconfiguring laptops, updating existing devices, and dealing with lost, stolen or broken laptops as their primary challenges when managing mobile devices.

“This survey confirms ITs biggest security fear¾ all data, including organizations high value data, is still vulnerable.  It is encouraging that the survey shows there is more awareness among security professionals than ever before,” said Barbara Nelson, general manager and vice president of Imation Mobile Security (IronKey™). “With the alarming amount of unmanaged mobile devices and workspaces accessing corporate data, IT security professionals have identified mobile security as a priority. The good news is that today there are technologies, such as Windows To Go, that can help solve the challenges of the mobile workforce.”

Nearly one-third of respondents admitted to being unaware if their organization has been breached in the last 12 months. With so little insight into their own networks, and with their jobs on the line, it is unsurprising that almost one third of respondents still do not provide access to corporate data through a cloud application or service.

As many organizations struggle to get ahead, 19 percent of respondents are already using or planning to use Windows To Go features in Windows 8.x or higher. Windows To Go allows IT to securely replicate desktop environments on mobile workspaces, thus providing a secure managed alternative for their mobile workforce. IronKey also solves the challenge of separating personal data from corporate data and the fear of corporate invasion of privacy by turning any USB-enabled device into an insulated corporate workspace.

To learn more about the results of the survey and the implications, please register here, and join SANS and IronKey for their joint webinar on May 21. For the full SANS Institute report, download here.

The survey, “Securing Portable Data and Applications for a Mobile Workforce,” was sponsored by IronKey by Imation and conducted by the SANS Institute between January 2015 and April 2015. 330 IT security professionals representing a broad spectrum of industries, including the technology, government, financial, education and healthcare sectors, as well as organizations of all sizes, completed the questionnaire on their insider threat awareness and posture.

About Imation Corp.

Imation is a global data storage and information security company. Our products and solutions help organizations and individuals store, manage and protect their digital content. Imation’s storage and security portfolio includes Nexsan™ high-density, archive and solid-state optimized unified hybrid storage solutions; IronKeymobile security solutions that address the needs of professionals for secure data transport and mobile workspaces; and consumer storage solutions, audio products and accessories sold under the Imation™, Memorex™ and TDK Life on Record brands. Imation reaches customers in more than 100 countries through a powerful global distribution network. For more information, visit      

Imation, the Imation logo, IronKey, the IronKey logo, PC on a Stick™, Nexsan and Memorex are trademarks of Imation Corp. and its subsidiaries. TDK Life on Record is used under a trademark license from TDK Corporation. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.


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