Unmanaged BYOD poses security threat, says Ovum

Unmanaged BYOD poses security threat, says Ovum

Organisations utilising the growth of the bring your own device (BYOD) trend that is sweeping the UK have been warned to implement proper mobile device management policies.

Those that fail to do so are risking exposing themselves to possible data leaks and losses, according to security firm Ovum.

The company conducted a survey of 4,000 full-time employees and found that while nearly 70 per cent of all smartphone-owning professionals are using their personal device to access corporate data, 80 per cent of this activity is not managed correctly by their employers.

Almost half of the IT departments involved in the survey did not know workers were using their devices to access sensitive enterprise information, while those that were aware were ignoring the potential risks.

Ovum senior analyst Richard Absalom said: "Despite much speculation, BYOD is here to stay. Therefore, it's worrying to see evidence of such a high proportion of businesses burying their head in the sand when it comes to planning adequately for it."

Perhaps surprisingly, developed nations, where the practice is more common, had a higher level of ignorance about BYOD, while companies in Brazil, India, China and South Africa were taking the correct precautions.

Ovum's research showed that 50 per cent of employees said privacy concerns would stop them accessing their own personal apps on a corporate-provisioned smartphone.

"The way people work will have a profound effect on how BYOD is rolled out and managed within an organisation. As such, it's imperative that IT departments act quickly to develop and implement clear policies governing BYOD," Mr Absalom continued.

Companies allowing employees to access data via Android devices were recently urged to warn their workers about the need for robust security measures.

This came after researchers at the Leibniz University of Hanover and the computer science department at the Philipps University of Marburg revealed almost eight per cent of Android applications of the 13,500 tested could be tricked into giving out information to hackers.