UK Survey Finds Security Threatens BYOD Uptake in Enterprise

UK Survey Finds Security Threatens BYOD Uptake in Enterprise

While there is a seemingly incessant drumbeat of advice to enterprises about the need to have BYOD (Bring You Own Device) polices, rules and other protections in place there are indications that this is an instance of talk but no action. At least that is the conclusion that can be drawn from Insight UK’s second annual BYOD survey, which was conducted with over 200 corporate professionals including senior executives, managing directors and IT managers from across a broad range of sectors including education, finance, media, pharmaceuticals, public sector and IT itself.

Here are to two big findings:

1. Security and adware removals, specifically data loss, cited by 72 percent of respondents, is still the biggest issue concerning IT departments with regard to BYOD uptake.

2. However, a staggering 55 percent of those surveyed said they have no plan to launch a BYOD policy to inform employees of how they should protect business data on their personal devices.

The latter is intriguing given that 73 per cent of respondents said they are issuing mobile devices (smartphone or tablet) to employees. In addition, 27 percent allow employees to bring their own personal devices and connect to either the corporate or a guest network, and allow those devices to leave the safety of the office network.

The BYOD numbers are revealing

The survey has a variety of insights worth pondering.

First. When it comes to support for Windows and IOS, Android (NewsAlert) and BlackBerry devices:

  • Currently 26 percent of IT departments support just iOS and Windows mobile OS.
  • Going forward, IT departments intend to support these further:
      • Apple 38 percent
      •  Windows 29 percent
      • Android and BlackBerry (News Alert) devices are almost comparable in terms of how support is planned moving forwards, with Android (17 percent) just one percent ahead of BlackBerry (16 percent)

Second. On the matter of what is top of mind:

  • Security and malware prevention is number one with 82 percent saying it tops their to-do list
  • Integration into existing corporate IT systems checks in at 60 percent
  • Increasing internal know-how and providing support for BYOD users is next at 52 percent
  • Until BYOD usage is made easier and support in place, businesses are less concerned (35 percent) with increasing the availability and breadth of applications available to staff through corporate application stores and through existing consumer channels
  • Sales and new business teams still most likely to adopt personal devices successfully for business use:
      • 58 percent of sales staff benefit from having mobile devices to access and display corporate documents on the go
      • IT departments at 44 percent are next
      • Customer Service was third at 35 percent
      • Marketing was also cited with 26 percent

Third. As might be suspected, since BYOD is an enterprise-wide phenomenon, which almost all observers agree is non unstoppable and has altered how IT needs to manage risks, inclusion is seen as important to successful and safe adoption:

  • 60 percent of respondents include all staff, no matter what their job function or status, when considering implementing a BYOD strategy
  • 22 percent only consider the need of their senior executives when evaluating policy and provision for mobile devices and smart phones

Ashley Gatehouse, VP of EMEA Marketing for Insight, said: ” It’s interesting to note that a year down the line almost three quarters of those businesses surveyed have seemingly moved to tackle this trend by issuing their own devices to employees and you’d think that means those allowing BYOD would now have their ducks in a line when it comes to policies surrounding this.”He added: “To hear almost half have no plans to create a policy is clearly at odds with the raft of measures we know businesses already have in place to protect the flow of data within the corporate network. Failure to implement a policy or define rules regarding the use of personal devices at this stage of proceedings is tantamount to leaving the backdoor wide open and hoping you don’t get robbed.”

The findings point to the fact that BYOD as forever altered IT’s ability to secure the enterprise and the enterprises of all sizes need to have a reasoned set of policies, rules and protective measure in place. In fact, to get a clear understanding of the issues, and hands-on experience with industry thought leaders on how best to secure the enterprise in a BYOD world, TMC’s (NewsAlert) Secure Mobility Conference to be held July 23 in New York City is a great way to hear first-hand about best practices and finding a path forward for your organization.

As the saying goes, “An ounce of protection is worth a pound of cure.” IT needs visibility, context and a strategy for mitigating the risks BYOD has introduced as the workplace becomes increasingly mobile. The survey shows not just what is top of mind but also just how far we need to go to secure peace of mind.