Reduced BYOD security concerns among US users

Dec 09, 2014

2014-12-09 Mobile Users.jpgEver since employees first began bringing their personal devices into the workplace, industry leaders have been warning administrators to keep an eye out for security risks. This constant nagging has caused many decision-makers to continually monitor their staff members’ use of handheld hardware and what resources they are accessing.

However, a recent Gartner report showed that this trend may be coming to a frightening end. Gartner’s new survey stated that while there is an ever-increasing number of employees bringing their smartphones, tablets and laptops into work, administrators are less concerned with the safety of these devices, reported MobileMarketingWatch. The report stated that business managers are currently “showing scant concern for security” when it comes to their internal BYOD initiatives.

Gartner also found that although 25 percent of workers experienced a security issue with their personal device last year, only 27 percent stated that it is their responsibility to alert their employer. When problems like this arise, they can cause serious data protection implications for the company. Meike Escherich, Gartner principal research analyst, said that identifying and solving BYOD security issues should be a full-time project within any organization.

“The threat of cyberattacks on mobile devices is increasing and can result in data loss, security breaches and compliance/regulatory violations,” Escherich said. “One of the biggest challenges for IT leaders is making sure that their users fully understand the implications of faulty mobile security practices and to get users and management to adhere to essentials steps which secure their mobile devices.”

Top BYOD security issues
Keeping this in mind, it is helpful if administrators know what to look for. A number of practices can cause danger for a BYOD initiative, however, some are more harmful than others.

For instance, Apperian contributor Stephen Skidmore noted that third-party applications can put the company’s data in jeopardy when utilized within a BYOD strategy. Because many of these consumer-level applications do not have the rigid security precautions that businesses require, use of such programs is essentially akin to leaving the door open for hackers. Instead, organizations should provide enterprise-grade solutions, like secure file sharing and messaging platforms to curb this issue.

Skidmore also pointed out that lost or stolen devices can hurt a business’s BYOD practice. Even if the device has a screen lock, a cybercriminal may be able to infiltrate it and access all the sensitive information the employee was privy to. For this reason, a system with remote wiping capabilities is critical to ensure that no company assets are hanging in the balance when and if a worker loses their smartphone or tablet.

Category: Data Security