Two-thirds of IT professionals fail to include mobile devices in their security policies, according to a new study.

The survey of 248 IT professionals by mobile encryption company PointSec, found that while 66 percent of professionals neglected to include mobile devices in their current security policies, another 65 percent recognised that they were a “potential security time-bomb”.

The research conducted at this year's Infosecurity Europe show also found that 12 percent of organizations ban the use of removable media devices in the workplace. On average 56 percent of employees are downloading corporate information onto their memory sticks, compared with 31 percent last year.

Only around 21 percent of removable devices in the workplace are secured with passwords or encryption. Only 4 percent of the IT professionals felt that the best form of defense against loss or theft was to keep the device in their pocket and one person slept with his USB stick around his neck to keep it safe and sound.

Martin Allen, Managing Director of Pointsec UK said: “It is no surprise that we’ve seen such an explosive use of removable media in the workplace as they are convenient, cheap and easy to use. However, if not properly managed and controlled they can become a potential security timebomb.”

He advised companies to introduce strict guidelines on the use of removable media devices in the workplace.