BYOD led to security breaches, study shows

LONDON — Despite security and IT integration problems related to the consumerization of IT in the workplace, CEOs and IT execs are resigned to its growth, according to research.

Decisive Analytics questioned 440 CEOs and IT executives across the U.S., the U.K. and Germany, and found that 78 per cent already allowed employees to use their personal devices, such as laptops, smartphones and tablets, for work. Nearly all companies that do permit these devices to be used say they require security software to be installed on them.

But illustrating that security software alone is not enough to protect corporate data on personal devices, almost half of companies that allowed such devices admitted that they had suffered security breaches. Immediate changes to security protocols typically follow such breaches, with data access rights restrictions (45 per cent) being one response.

Few shut down BYOD (bring your own device) programs altogether following a breach. Employee education on managing personal BYOD behaviour is seen as key to reducing security threats, according to previous studies.

Almost half of the IT executives questioned in this study said BYOD gave their firm a competitive advantage, while almost 70 per cent of CEOs were sure of the competitive advantage.

The majority of respondents also said BYOD was seen as an employee retention and recruitment tool, and that BYOD enhanced innovation and creativity and boosted productivity.

Most respondents added that the employee view of the company was bolstered by BYOD, and the customer view of the organization was improved too.

Security software firm Trend Micro commissioned the research. Cesare Garlati, director of consumerisation at Trend Micro, said firms had to embrace consumerisation “to unlock its business potential”, but that firms had to adopt flexible BYOD policies – “say yes, but not to everything and not for everyone”, he said.

Trend rival McAfee launched new BYOD security tools at last week’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

 (From Computerworld U.K.)


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