BYOD Improves Productivity, but Comes With Security Concerns
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The booming bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend is bringing with it increases in employee productivity, but also continues to be a security headache for enterprises, according to two surveys from security software maker Trend Micro.
The two surveys, released Aug. 8, reinforce what similar studies and reports have found: That the BYOD trend, fueled by the rise of smartphones and tablets, is not going away, and that businesses are increasingly accommodating it despite concerns about security and network management.
"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," Cesare Garlati, vice president of mobile security at Trend Micro, said in a statement. "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."
According to one of the surveys conducted by Forrester Research for Trend Micro, 78 percent of enterprises are instituting BYOD programs, and 60 percent of respondents are including smartphones in BYOD strategies. Forty-seven percent include tablets and laptops.
Seventy percent of the respondents said that improved worker productivity is the key reason behind their businesses embrace of IT consumerization programs.
In the other survey, conducted by Device Analytics, 83 percent of companies that allow employees to use their own devices in the workplace have policies that require those workers to install security software on their devices as an added layer of security. That dovetails with another of the survey s findings--that 86 percent of the IT decision makers in the United States, U.K. and Germany said that their top concern about devices connecting to the corporate network is smartphone security.
Security issues cropped up in other parts of the survey conducted by Device Analytics. For example, almost half--47 percent--of enterprises that allow workers to use their personal mobile devices to connect to the corporate network have encountered some sort of data breach. In many cases, such data breaches were met with immediate changes in security policies--45 percent responded by further restricting data access rights, while 43 percent instituting requirements that employees install security software on their devices.
Only 12 percent of businesses shut down their BYOD programs altogether following a data breach, noting that when properly security is in place, IT consumerization offers benefits to the enterprise.