- January 22, 2013
- Lee Cocking
Bring your own device (BYOD) is being practiced by employees in nearly every industry - regardless of whether they have the support of company management or IT departments.
"Whether approved or not, user-owned tablets and smartphones are connecting into corporate networks and cloud environments," said Michael Suby, Stratecast vice president of research at Frost & Sullivan. "Furthermore, the escalating capabilities of these devices, such as dual-core processors and multi-gigabytes of storage, add to the level of risk these devices pose to corporate assets and sensitive information."
A recent survey by Frost & Sullivan and (ISC)2 revealed that more than half of people worldwide are allowed to use personal devices for work. An even higher amount said they have permission to use mobile devices. Nearly 90 percent of respondents said their companies are open to letting them access corporate networks with their smartphones, followed by tablets (79 percent) and laptops (72 percent).
Boosting security could benefit employees and companies
Amid all the concerns, the study also reaffirmed the notion that BYOD is overwhelmingly positive. The majority of respondents (60 percent) listed improving the end-user experience as one of the top enterprise mobility goals. Reducing operating and IT department costs is also important, cited by 44 percent and 21 percent of respondents, respectively.
However, the issue is that company and IT decision-makers appear to be paying a disproportionate amount of attention to implementing BYOD strategies at the expense of effective security. Although 72 percent of respondents are worried about application security and 70 percent about the cloud, less than half admitted that their companies don't use applications access control or authentication strategies.
In a recent blog for SYS-CON Media, Sunil Pathak, head of systems development and support at Colt Technologies Services, highlighted the ways cloud computing, mobile devices and BYOD are intersecting - and how that is ultimately benefiting the enterprise. As with many business decisions, the biggest advantage to enterprise mobility will likely be cost savings.
At the same time, he stressed the importance of security, suggesting that companies should employ multi-layered approaches to safeguard their networks. He also advised companies to shift their focus from managing the device to mobile data security management.
While mobile device management software still has enormous value, it is no sure thing when used by itself. Organizations should also employ mobile application and data management solutions, or customize their own apps for employees to use.