IT Managers Bury Their Heads over Bring You Own Device (BYOD)May 14th, 2012 by BrightCloud
IT managers in the UK are in “true denial” of the reality and opportunity of Bring Your Own Device To Work (BYOD), according to the latest research*.
4,000 IT managers as well as professional and traditional consumers from five countries were asked about their use of mobile devices for work. A significant number (65%) of IT managers in the UK believed their employees were not using unsupported devices, compared over 40% of users who admitted to accessing corporate data on smartphones and tablets.
It is not just the IT managers that don’t trust mobile devices, as even the employees seem unsure whether to trust them. Just 20% of UK respondents said they had a “great deal of confidence” in the security of their mobile devices, meaning 80% were unsure or didn’t trust them at all.
BrightCloud believes that these IT managers really need to give this a lot more attention rather than burying their head in the sand, realise BYOD is happening and make a positive decision to address it either positively or negatively but not ignore it. Some are in true denial and that is a worrying prospect.
Duncan Little points out “If you think the catalyst of new smart devices is enough to fuel this level of staff desire to utilise their own devices, the advent of Windows 8, scheduled for release later this year, is going to be a significant land mark for an increase in the requests companies will get (and a huge amount that will just go ahead and use them anyway) from employees to use this new user friendly technology. Companies should be concerned.”
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The study showed employees had, on average, three devices they carried around with them to use for work, with 18% owning five. This does create a security nightmare for IT departments, but they needed to tackle the growing trend head on, rather than ignoring it and putting the company at risk.
The reality is many find this complex or it sounds complex in any case so some take the attitude of ignore it for now until they get bitten. Some have embraced this head on and created full BYOD/BYOC policies as part of their end to end security and end to end policy.
Early indications show increased productivity and heightened staff job satisfaction and in some cases there is a cost saving element as well.
BrightCloud believes a complete prohibition is not really a practical option and that senior executives and customer facing staff are driving the use of devices such as iPads. The subject simply can’t be ignored and not having a policy is a growing risk. If it is not controlled staff will do it anyway, which will open companies up to a much wider security risk. Devise a completely open and clear policy, but don’t go into denial as that is where the real risk lies.
We may be in the early adopter phase of BYO right now but Windows 8 is going to significantly accelerate the process. So now is the time to start thinking about how your business is going to handle this topic.
*Research from Juniper Network’s trust mobility index