When snooping becomes a data breach

Highlighting the pitfalls of a workforce on the move and protecting your data.


Today’s workforce is increasingly adopting a ‘work where you are’ mentality enabling productivity on-the-go, this trend also highlights the growing need for effective security solutions to protect company data and avoid data breaches. A highly effective solution is Targus privacy screens.

Public locations used as temporary ‘offices’

Accessing and working on company data is no longer restricted to just the workplace. It is commonplace for employees to utilise personal and business mobile devices wherever they might be. More often than not that is in a public place.

The morning train commute is dominated by people using laptops and tablets, and airports, cafes and restaurants are constantly utilised by the workforce as temporary ‘offices’ to keep on top of their workload.

Whilst this fits perfectly with the concept of agile working, protecting sensitive company data becomes even more crucial. Targus privacy screens enable users to work on mobile devices in public spaces whilst protecting data from onlookers.

Commuters admit to snooping

Clearly it is not just employees’ carelessness with paper documents that put organisations at risk. As employees embrace mobile devices to expand their working environment the risk of data breaches also increases.

According to research by Informationsecuritybuzz.com, ‘two thirds of Europe’s office commuters have no qualms about peering across to see what the person sitting next to them is working on; and more than one in ten has spotted confidential or highly sensitive information.’

Using Targus privacy screens with mobile devices would significantly reduce this intrusion of privacy and effectively protect sensitive company data.

Security breaches making the headlines

Security breaches due to employee negligence constantly feature in the headlines. Some of the most memorable news stories concern highly-confidential documents being left on trains. These include files containing intelligence on al-Qaeda left by a Cabinet Office employee, and documents regarding anti-terrorism security plans for the London 2012 Olympics left by a senior police officer.

‘UK companies need to manage the risk associated with new technology’

Following these very costly and public security breaches, companies have become more security-focused. This is reflected in the findings of the Department for Business Skills & Innovations’ 2014 Information Security Breaches Survey.

It reports that, ‘Staff-related breaches have dropped significantly compared to a year ago. However, staff still play a key role in security breaches.’

  • 58% of large organisations suffered staff-related security breaches (down from 73% a year ago)
  • 31% of the worst security breaches in the year were caused by inadvertent human error (and a further 20% by deliberate misuse of systems by staff)

The survey also warns that, ‘Businesses need to manage the risks associated with new technology. The use of technology remains a key part of businesses’ daily working so it is vital to ensure a flexible approach to security.’

The following was also noted in the survey’s ‘Key observations of the year’, ‘Organisations are making risk-based decisions about the introduction of mobile devices in order to facilitate more flexible ways of working.’

An affordable and effective solution

Whilst measures are in place to improve the security of mobile devices through software, privacy screens offer a convenient, effective and affordable solution. This is especially beneficial to organisations with BYOD and CYOD policies in place and can be utilised in and out of the workplace.

A privacy screen is essentially a lenticular sticker placed over the screen to obscure the contents from onlookers. On-screen data is protected and can only be viewed when sat directly in front of the screen. Onlookers sat directly to the side will only see a dark, unclear screen ensuring the privacy and security of company data.

Other benefits include reducing screen glare and providing general screen protection from scratches, smudges and fingerprints.

Along with instilling the importance of security and a shared sense of data responsibility, organisations can equip their workforce with privacy screens to reduce the potential risks of security breaches.

View our range of privacy screens – available in a variety of sizes to suit laptops, tablets and desktop screens.


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Discuss our range of Universal Docking

Targus offer a full range docking solutions to support a wide range of requirements and price points. Please call us to discuss the best docking solution for your organisation.

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