BYOD is overtaking the workplace, security is top concern

Across the U.S. and Europe, the majority (78 percent) of enterprise IT decision makers say that employees are already using consumer devices to conduct company business, according to Trend Micro.

The most telling result from the Key Strategies to Capture and Measure the Value of Consumerization of IT survey is the fact that 78 percent of enterprises are currently instituting BYOD programs. Breaking out the numbers from these programs, 60 percent of respondents include smartphones in BYOD strategies and 47 percent deploy tablets and laptops.

When asked why BYOD has been instituted in a company’s workplace, 70 percent of survey respondents cite increasing worker productivity as the key driver of why such a high penetration of BYOD programs exists.

However, the Mobile Consumerization Trends & Perceptions survey shows that nearly all (83 percent) companies that do permit BYOD have policies in place that require employees to install security software as a precaution.

Further underlining these security implications, Trend Micro found that 86 percent of IT decision makers from the U.S., U.K. and Germany state that smartphone data security is their number one concern when consumer devices are connected to corporate networks.

Both surveys point to the fact that consumerization is present in enterprise workplaces. In particular, the Mobile Consumerization Trends & Perceptions survey gives evidence of trends, such as the fact that nearly half (47 percent) of enterprises that allow employee-owned devices to connect to a company’s network have experienced a data breach.

Of these enterprises, immediate changes to security protocols typically followed such a breach, with data access right restrictions (45 percent) or security software installation (43 percent) being the top ways enterprises dealt with the lapse in security. Few enterprises (12 percent) shut down BYOD altogether following a breach, as they still recognize the benefits of BYOD can be preserved when proper security precautions are put into place.

“Companies that are questioning whether or not to allow workers to bring personal devices into the workplace should just stop asking: it’s clear that you can get a competitive edge when you put the right precautions in place,” said Cesare Garlati, vice president of mobile security, Trend Micro. “The BYOD phenomenon gives companies that allow it a competitive advantage as it enhances innovation and creativity in the workplace while reducing overall costs for the entire organization. The key to not being overwhelmed by this trend is that all these devices need to be secured by implementing the proper BYOD policies and procedures. By working with a security partner that understands how to properly protect all devices across a network, companies can utilize this trend without being trampled by the deluge of information.”

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