How is BYOD faring in the business sector?

Sep 08, 2014

2014-12-09 Mobile Users.jpgThere’s no doubt about it: BYOD has come a long way in the past few years.

A mere two to three years ago, many administrators were asking, “What is BYOD?” In today’s corporate industry, however, this question has developed into several others, including how improvements can be made and how BYOD can best be leveraged for company success.

Current research shows that BYOD is quickly being adopted across nearly every sector and is continuing to make a splash in the corporate world. As the trend evolves and instances of BYOD security risks increase, business leaders must ensure that their mobile initiative progresses as well.

The current state of BYOD: Devices being used
According to industry research, the number of smartphones and tablets being sold globally is on the rise, signaling increasing utilization in business settings, Magic Software reported. In 2012, there were 821 million mobile devices sold across the globe, which rose to reach 1.2 billion last year.

Additionally, many of these mobile endpoints are supported by the Android operating system with Apple’s iOS coming in at second place. Of the devices sold last year, 72 percent were Androids and 14 percent were on the iOS platform. Overall, Android devices outsold PCs, nearly doubling the number of units sold in the third quarter of 2012.

Researchers also found that this trend is far from over. Of the estimated 5 billion mobile phone users across the globe, 4 billion are non-smartphone users. Furthermore, Morgan Stanley noted that the amount of individuals utilizing smartphones is steadily growing by 42 percent every year worldwide.

BYOD security risks
However, as more employees leverage their handheld hardware for work purposes, BYOD security threats are bound to arise. According to WindowsIT Pro, Spiceworks’ 2013 Voice of IT Survey on Mobile Security found that respondents noted four main challenges when it comes to BYOD security issues, including:

  1. Lost or stolen endpoints (35 percent)
  2. Loss of sensitive corporate and client information (27 percent)
  3. Employee misuse (18 percent)
  4. Mobile malware (11 percent)

Migration toward BYOA
The most troubling of security issues may come in the near future. Magic Software noted that there is an increasing push toward BYOA, or bring-your-own-application initiatives. While this may seem beneficial as employees can work with programs they are familiar with, this practice also has very serious security implications. Many consumer-level apps do not have the robust data safeguarding measures required in corporate settings, especially when it comes to file sharing. It is essential that administrators select a secure file sharing platform that will enable their staff to easily collaborate while keeping sensitive information protected.