BYOD ~ Bring Your Own Device or Demise?
So, how many of you use your personal mobile devices to access all those work related spreadsheets, emails, calendars or other files? It might possibly depend on your company policy. Well, yes or no, the numbers are getting bigger by the day – surveys indicate that a very large proportion of employees are presently using their own mobile devices for both work and personal use. This trend – commonly referred to as ‘BYOD or bring your own device’ – has been a growing one for some years now. Increasing data connectivity and the need to be connected anywhere and everywhere has forced a change in employee attitude in their use of their device to access work related documents. A prime example here is employees checking their work emails on their mobile devices while waiting to pick up their kids from schools. Several factors feed into this growing trend of BYOD – the development of the mobile device market and increased penetration (and usage) of mobile devices within the enterprise; wide network connectivity and always-on devices providing access to files and emails anywhere and everywhere; the availability of a greater variety of mobile apps and solutions designed for the enterprise. Consequently, the number of employee owned smartphones and tablets used in the enterprise will more than double by 2014, reaching 350 million, compared to almost 150 million this year. Our recent research found that whilst this trend can bring productivity benefits to businesses, it also poses certain potential security risks. The threat from unprotected employee mobile devices is of significant importance: the potential for financial loss, legal liability and brand damage from unprotected devices is one of the most underestimated risks facing enterprises. While most employees are happy to use their own device, the majority of those devices do not have any form of security or protection. So while BYOD has become an ‘inevitable’ trend for the enterprise, businesses need to create new end-user IT policies and address the key security issues emerging. New security measures along with device management policies need to be put in place. Are enterprises ready for this challenge? They have to be.