Barriers to BYOD? A lack of trust in employers to protect privacy

According to new research, employee reluctance to embrace bring-your-own-device (BYOD) schemes comes down to two factors: a lack of trust in employers and a need to protect individual privacy.

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When it comes down to adopting bring-your-own-device (BYOD) schemes, employee adoption is hampered by a lack of trust in employers and a lack of faith that individual privacy will be protected.

New research conducted by Ovum on behalf of mobile security firm AdaptiveMobile says these two factors remain a barrier to increased mobility within the enterprise. When asked to use personal devices for work purposes, end users trust mobile service providers more than employers to protect their privacy, according to the survey. While over 84 percent of employees rated privacy as a top three concern, there is a "clear lack of trust" and belief that corporations are able to manage their mobile security and privacy effectively.

The Ovum Employee Mobility Survey was conducted in July 2014 and surveyed 5,187 employees in organisations worldwide. Only 30 percent of respondents were happy with employers managing their corporate mobility service, while 42 percent stated they were happier with work devices being managed by third-party operators.

Among employees who keep work and personal devices separate, the biggest barriers to merging the two via BYOD schemes was a desire to keep work and personal life separate -- demonstrated by 44 percent of respondents in this category. In addition, 24 percent of respondents revealed a general mistrust of employers being granted any type of control over their devices.

Ciaran Bradley, Chief Product Officer at AdaptiveMobile commented:

"Trust is the magic word when it comes to empowering employees to use their own devices in the workplace. The mobile device is such an inherently personal part of our lives that people want to know that their details are safe.

Where the IT department may be stigmatised in the eyes of employees, they see the mobile operator as the trusted service provider. The opportunity for businesses therefore is to benefit from the reflected trust by deploying a managed mobile security solution and so instill the confidence in the service that their employees demand."

Respondents of the survey also noted that in addition to privacy and trust concerns, bill shock, mobile data usage and inadvertent access to malicious websites and malicious apps are all barriers to bring-your-own-device schemes. BYOD schemes may save corporations from needing to fund their own mobile devices to issue to employees, but they also cause other problems and the need for investment in other areas -- as IT departments have now found themselves with multiple platforms to secure.

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