By now, the vast majority of company and IT decision-makers are at least aware of the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) phenomenon. BYOD has been adopted to make workers more efficient - and even happier - and as a result, many employees are using personal laptops, tablets and smartphones to access corporate programs.
A recent survey by Frost & Sullivan and the (ISC)2 Foundation found that 53 percent of organizations allow personal device usage - yet far more than 53 percent of employees use their devices, particularly mobile, for work. Nearly 90 percent of respondents said they use smartphones to log onto corporate networks, while tablets (79 percent) and laptops (72 percent) are also commonly used.
"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.
Company management, IT departments are essential
The Frost & Sullivan and (ISC)2 survey found that despite its benefits, company leaders still have concerns about the effects of BYOD - notably its impact on cloud and enterprise application security. What they don't seem to realize, however, is just how much control they still have over corporate networks.
In a recent blog for The Guardian, Paul Stonadge, head of enterprise mobility at Vodafone, suggested that the explosion of smartphones and tablets in the workplace has made mobile data security management "more essential than ever." Because of growing threats like malware, phishing and even vulnerable data from lost devices, mobile risk management will be crucial for companies going forward.
Companies should not ignore traditional security strategies like data encryption, and anti-malware and anti-virus software. Mobile device management solutions should also be implemented to safeguard an organization's most sensitive data. In addition, Stondage stressed the importance of establishing uniform, easy-to-understand BYOD regulations. As he noted in his blog post, the most extensive security measures will likely be rendered ineffective if employees and company leaders aren't on the same page.
Another vital mobile application management strategy is developing as many work-related apps as possible. While this may sound contradictory, customizing applications has been found to be an effective security measure, by reducing employees' need to download potentially malicious third-party apps.
In a recent blog for CMSWire, Parna Sarkar-Basu, vice president of marketing communications at Verivo Software, highlighted the results of an online survey his company conducted. The study revealed that more than half of companies plan to build at least two enterprise apps in 2013, with 29.6 percent planning to develop five to nine apps.