Firms face huge security risks from unmanaged BYOD

24th Oct 2012 | 13:37

Firms face huge security risks from unmanaged BYOD

Employees prefer their own devices to business supplied tablets and smartphones

More than two thirds (70%) of smartphone owning professionals are using their personal device to access corporate data, however, almost 80 per cent of today's bring-your-own-device (BYOD) activity remains inadequately managed by IT departments. According to a survey by IT analysts OVUM

Ovum has warned that this reliance on BYOD is leaving businesses "not only at risk of data loss but unable to claim they took reasonable preventative measures," and the analysts found a "concerning level" of ignorance by IT professionals about the BYOD trend.

Nearly half of the respondents' employers' IT departments either did not know of BYOD or were ignoring its existence, operating a "don't ask, don't tell" policy, while less than one in ten (8.1%) actively discouraged it.

Richard Absalom, senior analyst at Ovum.said "Despite much speculation, BYOD is here to stay. Therefore, it's worrying to see evidence of such a high proportion of businesses burying their head in the sand when it comes to planning adequately for it," Adding "BYOD multiplies the number of networks, applications, and end-points through which data is accessed. These are the three main points at which data is vulnerable; so, if left unmanaged, BYOD creates a huge data security risk."

Buying smartphones for employees is not the answer

The research also highlighted that just buying smartphones and tablets or the latest Apple iPad mini for employee use isn't the answer..

Ovum's research shows that half of the employees interviewed say privacy concerns would stop them accessing their own personal apps on a corporate provisioned smartphone. For half of all employees, a corporately provisioned smartphone or tablet is not a perfect substitute for a personally owned device, and this will continue to give momentum to the BYOD trend.

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