Companies becoming lax in managing BYOD risk

Exposure to risk is as much of a threat today as it was in 2013; however, organizations have become less diligent in BYOD management and mitigation, according to TEKsystems.

Seventy-two percent of IT professionals believe that sensitive company data is at risk due to employees accessing information from personal devices.

Nearly two-thirds of respondents (64 percent) state that either no official BYOD policy exists at their organizations and/or nothing at all has been communicated about BYOD. This has increased by 21 percent from 2013, when 43 percent identified the same lack of guidelines and best practices.

Despite the fact that mobile devices provide IT professionals with greater flexibility, they also heighten stress and extend the workday.

  • Half of respondents say the ability to access work (e.g., applications, documents, email) via a mobile device has increased stress because they are never able to disconnect. Only 28 percent feel it lessens stress and 22 percent report it has no impact on stress.
  • Almost two-thirds (61 percent) of all respondents disclose that if they had their choice, they would prefer to work in yesterday’s world where they would be inaccessible outside of business hours.

Although the majority of respondents would like to be able to disconnect, they acknowledge that mobility gives them greater control over their work life. For many, there is also a sense of urgency about being connected.

  • Sixty percent of respondents indicate mobility gives them greater control over their work life, while 28 percent indicate it gives the employer more control.
  • Forty-two percent of respondents admit that even during off hours, if their smartphone lost the ability to connect to work, they would alert IT to the problem within one hour.
  • When asked about their morning routine, 28 percent of IT professionals confess that the first thing they do when they wake up is check their mobile device—even before using the bathroom.

Although it seems smart devices are gaining traction as the favored communication method, when it comes to core work activities, the laptop is still the preferred device.

  • IT professionals report that the time they spend working on various devices during a typical business day (laptop 67 percent, smartphone 25 percent, tablet 8 percent) is nearly identical to the time spent working on those devices after-hours (laptop 61 percent, smartphone 31 percent, tablet 8 percent).
  • Sixty-one percent of respondents say that if they had to pick only one device to access work after-hours for the period of one week, they would choose their laptop.

“The growing deficiency of BYOD policy and management uncovered in this snapshot is astonishing, especially given the heightened threats of cybercrime and mobile security attacks,” says Jason Hayman, TEKsystems market research manager. “The degree of exposure to risk is amplified by the fact that IT professionals and other employees are always connected, working from multiple devices from just about any location. These findings suggest that companies have either become completely overwhelmed by the process of instituting and upholding BYOD controls, don’t feel that there is a legitimate threat, or have made the dangerous assumption that their tech-savvy workforce doesn’t need direction regarding safe use of personal devices.”

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