BYOD: Are businesses prepared?

Are businesses implementing BYOD without the necessary policies in place?
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer

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:

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