3.1m of the UK’s workforce have unintentionally lost work data from their work device over the last year, either through malfunction or corruption according to new research by Kroll Ontrack.

Employees accessing work information from a remote device within UK businesses is at an all-time high, with 10.3m employees now using persona laptops, tablets and handheld devices for carrying out or storing work data.

The Kroll Ontrack research suggests that privacy and security should be a major worry for employers, with employees risking the loss of important work data by using personal devices which are not supplied by their company.

The study shows that depite the risks of losing confidential information, 21% of UK employees admit to saving work information on removable media devices such as flash drives. For those aged between 25-34, this figure rises to 27%.

“Robert Winter, Chief Engineer, Kroll Ontrack, said:

“One of the biggest challenges for businesses today is to understand and manage the huge quantity of data they hold.

“Unfortunately, due to an increasingly mobile workforce, the risk of losing confidential data is heightened exponentially, unless the correct preventative action is taken. As a result, businesses are not only jeopardised financially but also run the risk of damaging their reputation.

“Worryingly, 7% of UK employees (1.9m) are carrying around confidential work data on their own mobile or handheld device which has not been supplied by their employer. This research clearly shows that organisations need to do much more to help protect their data. Companies must implement thorough policies and procedures to help staff understand rules and security features surrounding bring your own device.”