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November 16, 2018updated 23 Dec 2019 9:27am

Businesses are increasingly embracing BYOD despite data security fears

Businesses are increasingly allowing employees to bring their own devices, including smartphones, tablets and other devices, into the workplace. Known as BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), this practice has been linked with increased productivity and employee happiness.

By Luke Denmark

Businesses are increasingly allowing employees to bring their own devices, including smartphones, tablets and other devices, into the workplace. Known as BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), this practice has been linked with increased productivity and employee happiness.

According to cloud security company Bitglass, some 85% of organisations have now embraced BYOD in some capacity.

The Bitglass 2018 BYOD Security Report surveyed 400 enterprise IT experts to find out about the state of BYOD and the security of mobile devices.

A previously study by Frost & Sullivan and Samsung found that the use of personal devices saves employees 58 minutes each day.

Security concerns

Organisations are also frequently making customer data available to third parties through personal machines. The study found that 27% of businesses allow contractors to access data. Some 25% grant external access to partners, 22% to customers, and 19% to suppliers.

However, that poses a threat to security, with over half of experts surveyed expressing that the number of threats to mobile devices has increased in the past year, potentially putting company data at risk.

Bitglass found that businesses were particularly concerned about data leaks (61%), unauthorised access (53%) and a lack of monitoring (53%).

Inadequate protection

Despite these security concerns, Bitglass found that many businesses have failed to implement basic tools and practices to protect data accessed on personal devices.

Rich Campagna, Chief Marketing Officer of Bitglass, said:

“While most companies believe mobile devices are being targeted more than ever, our findings indicate that many still lack the basic tools needed to secure data in BYOD environments,

“Enterprises should feel empowered to take advantage of BYOD’s myriad benefits, but must employ comprehensive, real-time security if they want to do so safely and successfully.”

Of those surveyed, some 20% lacked visibility into the use of basic mobile applications, such as emails, on personal devices, making it difficult to monitor the behaviour of employees. Likewise, just three in five companies had the ability to remove sensitive data from devices remotely.