29/05/2012 11:32 PM IST

Lost Data A Growing Concern For Small Businesses: Survey Says

The growing trend toward BYOD (bring your own device) in the workplace is putting company data at risk, according to a survey by Mozy and Compass Partners. Most (87 percent) small and midsize businesses have no formal policy in place regarding employees’ use of personal devices for work purposes -- and 80 percent weren't even concerned. About 33 percent of companies let employees make their own decisions about how to back up company and client data on their devices, and most companies lack adequate backup or data recovery plans for those devices.

Besides not backing up, employees are engaging in other risky behavior with their personal devices, including not having antivirus protection, leaving laptops alone in coffee shops or other public places, using public computers to access company networks and transferring unencrypted data.

Why it matters to your business: The risk of loss isn't just theoretical. For example, 11 percent of the survey's respondents said employee laptops have been stolen in the past, and in 98 percent of those cases, all of the lost data was never recovered. The "bring your own device" trend isn't going away, but if you allow it, you do need to set some rules to protect your customers' data, your data -- and your business.