BYOD Mobile Security Uncategorized

The risks of BYOD policies for businesses

A survey published this week indicates that The majority of IT and IT specialists believe their companies do not use tools or policies to protect corporate data from risks arising from Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy.

The research, which was conducted by the by the Ponemon Institute for Zix Corporation shows that 60 percent of IT professionals are unsatisfied with current BYOD solutions, mostly due to cost and inadequate security.

The report shows that 56% of IT managers claim their companies are looking to replace their current BYOD security solution. Moreover, an alarming 46%, those working in companies that support BYOD, said they do not use tools or policies to protect corporate data.

It is also interesting to note that 28% of respondents said that their companies have limited BYOD deployment due to and inadequate security tools (28%), while 37% answered that their companies use mobile device password policies only.

BYOD is clearly on the rise but organization using such policy should remember that risks include:

  • Smartphones and tablets are easy prey for thieves and people often lose their phones or leave them unattended in public places
  • Devices are personally owned, changing employee expectations about privacy and security.
  • Employees take work off-premises: A Harris Interactive Poll (2011) found that more than 50 percent of employees use portable devices (smartphones, tablets, laptops, and flash drives) to take sensitive information outside company facilities.
  • Employees are liable to copy data from the corporate network onto their personal devices even when told not to.
  • Employees value convenience more than security and if a security policy is overly cumbersome or inconvenient, employees will find a way around it.
  • Lack of effective tools to enforce a secure BYOD setup.
blog Mobile Security Uncategorized

Gartner: Security seen as major obstacle to BYOD

Bring-your-own-device (BYOD) is gaining momentum in the workplace and the trend is expected to intensify in the coming years. BYOD growth is supported by a desire to cut IT costs and improve employee satisfaction.

A recent report by research company Gartner predicts that by 2017, half of all employers will require employees to supply their own device for work purposes.

The report, entitled “Bring Your Own Device: The Facts and the Future” indicates that security remains the top concern for BYOD.

“The risk of data leakage on mobile platforms is particularly acute,” Gartner analysts wrote. “Some mobile devices are designed to share data in the cloud and have no general purpose file system for applications to share, increasing the potential for data to be easily duplicated between applications and moved between applications and the cloud.”

The writers note, however, that IT is catching up with the phenomenon of BYOD and more than half of the organizations surveyed give themselves a high rating for securing corporate data on enterprise-owned mobile devices.

“We’re finally reaching the point where IT officially recognizes what has always been going on: People use their business device for nonwork purposes and often use a personal device in business,” said David Willis, chief of research at Gartner.

“Once you realize that, you’ll understand you need to protect data in another way besides locking down the full device. It is essential that IT specify which platforms will be supported and how; what service levels a user should expect; what the user’s own responsibilities and risks are; who qualifies; and that IT provides guidelines for employees purchasing a personal device for use at work, such as minimum requirements for operating systems,” added Willis.

Gartner notes that BYOD is most prevalent in midsize and large organizations ($500 million to $5 billion in revenue, with 2,500 to 5,000 employees). The report shows that American companies are twice as likely to allow BYOD as those in Europe, where BYOD has the lowest adoption of all the regions. But employees in India, China and Brazil are the most likely to be using their own mobile phones at work.