Half of UK workers don't feel confident that the information on a mobile phone or laptop would be secure if they lost the device, says Sophos.

Research conducted by TNS on behalf of the security firm revealed 60 percent of workers have used their personal mobile phone for work purposes and 43 percent have used their personal laptop for work.

Furthermore, 28 percent of workers are encouraged by their firm to use personal devices at work. However, 30 percent of employees say their company does not have a security policy in place to protect information stored on personal devices used for work purposes.

Nearly half (47 percent) of staff also believe viruses are a major security threat to mobile devices.

People rarely apply the same best practices to their own devices as they do to corporate equipment," said James Lyne, director of technology strategy at Sophos.

"As a result, despite the obvious business benefits, mobile working makes users more vulnerable, both to web-based threats and to simple loss of their devices and data."

With a quarter of those surveyed admitting to losing a mobile phone, Sophos said businesses are effectively presenting a vastly increased attack surface to potential cyber criminals and if these devices do not have in-built security features enabled such as passcode protection and encryption.

Of those firms that do have a mobile security policy in place, 63 percent support Blackberry's OS, 47 percent support iPhones but less than a third (31 percent) support Android.

"Today's IT security policies need to be focused on strengthening an organisation's defences on the proliferation of operating platforms used by employees, through better web security and patch management, as well as application, device and access control," added Lyne.