More than half of mobile device users access their employer’s networks every day without permission, according to a new global survey and over 80% of users of mobile devices say they have accessed work information.

Network systems company Juniper Networks surveyed 6,000 mobile device users and found that the use of smartphones and tablet computers poses a potentially major security risk to corporate information because the security of the mobile devices is not controlled by the company.

In addition, devices such as mobile handsets are usually far less protected than laptops or secure email devices which are designed and configured by a company’s own IT department. 81% of those surveyed admitted to using their devices to access their employer’s network without their employer’s knowledge or permission and 58% do so every single day.

Yet, it is not just for personal use – almost 44% of respondents admitted using their devices for both personal and business purposes,It appears most are unaware of the dangers of using mobile devices. ALthough 64% of them are very or extremely concerned about the possibility of identity theft when a device is stolen or lost the majority used them for a wide variety of purposes which would make it easier for thieves to access valuable information.

Highlighting the growing reliance on mobile devices more than 76% of those surveyed use their smartphones or tablets to access sensitive personal or business information. That includes 51% to enter or modify passwords; 43% to access banking or credit card statements and 18% to access employer’s proprietary information.

The findings suggest companies should do more to build policies that reflect the way employees want to access information, but also need to consider policies on who and what can access a company network.

The research, across 16 countries including the UK, suggests the issue is similar across the globe. The findings reveal a blurring of the lines between the personal and business use of mobile devices and while they may claim security is important to them, a worryingly 14% of respondents admitted neither their smartphone nor their tablet is password protected.

Do you have a a specific policy that covers such usage? Is it strictly applied?