BYOD: Are businesses prepared?

BYOD: Are businesses prepared?

Summary: Are businesses implementing BYOD without the necessary policies in place?

TOPICS: Mobility

Bring your own device schemes -- cropping up in schools and businesses across the West.

For a number of reasons, although most mainly stem from financial and budgetary constraints, businesses now more often request their employees to bring their own device to work. However, although this results in business avoiding the need to invest in devices through the short-term, security issues and potential breaches may cause financial damage in long-term scenarios.

Research released by Harris Interactive and security firm ESET has examined this issue -- of employees connecting their personal smartphones, tablets, laptops and other mobile devices to business networks. How far has the trend actually surfaced in business, and what steps are being taken to ensure the devices are secure?

Harris conducted a survey of 2,000 people, receiving responses from 1,300 workers based in the United States. Over 80 percent of those that responded 'use some kind of personally owned electronic device for work-related functions'.

The research's key findings stated:

  • More than 30 percent of employees who use their own laptop for work connect to the company via a 'free' or public network.
  • 37 percent of those surveyed do not use basic security features on their devices, such as auto-lock mechanisms;
  • Employees often let other people, such as family or friends, use their devices.

A more troubling result in the research was that the majority of businesses, 66 percent, have not implemented a BYOD policy.

If businesses do not rapidly implement effective BYOD policies, then they are placing company networks, confidential data and consumer privacy at serious risk -- and the consequences can break a business, land them in court, or risk the wrath of consumers when their information is leaked.

View the accompanying infographic, 'BYOD security is no LOL matter' for additional information:

Topic: Mobility

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  • Add to the statistics

    Roughly 40-60% (believe it or not, depending on the time of year) of home systems either do not have effective antivirus, expired antivirus, or are already infected with malware. Sophos did an eye-opening study about 7 months ago, if I remember correctly. And this is who we're supposed to trust business data with now 'cause business will "save a few bucks" for not having to pay for laptops and desktops. At the end of the day, a single lawsuit for HIPAA/HITECH violations will probably bring most SMB's to their knees. And yes, the Gov't is getting aggressive on this. They need money too, after all.
  • Future proof now to be prepared for BYOD

    Interesting stats, Charlie. It???s surprising that with so many employees connecting to a company???s network with their own devices, more BYOD policies are not already in place. As you highlighted in your story, statistics show that 66 percent still haven???t established BYOD-oriented policies. We can all but assume that number will steadily drop over the course of the next year. That said, everyone from the software publishers themselves to the businesses consuming software must begin ???future proofing??? their organizations now to meet increasing BYOD demand. Even if businesses are not yet widely asking for BYOD-oriented software, it really falls on software publishers to offer more flexible licensing and entitlement models that accommodate BYOD. Then, when IT departments turn to software publishers and say ???hey, we want to turn the BYOD lever ON for all the software we purchased from you,??? they will not run into compliance issues. Enterprises must also think through the software license compliance and Application Readiness issues associated with deploying applications when and where users need them, including their devices of choice. When it comes to bring your own device, IT should consider solutions now which would allow this to develop in a way that IT can control and maintain accountability moving forward.

    Randy Littleson
    Flexera Software
    • BYOD is a fail

      at least as currently understood. The average person isnt going to want to allow their company to install DLP or other software to manage their own device and allow any information that passes through their own device to be seen by the company. Plus, it is too expensive to support all platforms for a BYOD instead of 1 platform that is company provided.

      unless you are only specifically talking about phones.