BYOD ‘widespread’, but security must be improved

Organisations must think about ramping up their cyber security to succeed at BYOD (Image: iStock/Halfpoint)

While BYOD has been embraced by many workplaces, new research has revealed that concerns surrounding cybersecurity are the biggest obstacle to BYOD adoption.

Crowd Research Partners’ 2016 BYOD and Mobile Security Report revealed that security and employee privacy are the two biggest obstacles to BYOD adoption, with 39 per cent and 12 per cent of respondents citing these factors as concerns, respectively. 

Management opposition (three per cent) and user experience concerns (four per cent) ranked significantly lower.

It was also found that one in five organisations have suffered a security breach, with most of these due to malware and malicious WiFi. 

Furthermore, it was noted that security threats to BYOD mean that a heavy burden is placed on business’ IT departments, with 35 per cent of those questioned underlining this issue. Twenty-seven per cent made the same point regarding help desks.

The report also underlined that despite increasing security threats, just 30 per cent of organisations have plans to increase their BYOD security budget over the next year. Thirty-seven per cent said they were not planning to change their security budget at all. 

Pat Clawson, chief executive at Blancco Technology Group, noted that BYOD can be “a tough nut for organisations to crack”. 

“Despite its many benefits, our study found that 21 per cent of organisations have experienced a data breach resulting from BYOD or corporate-owned mobile devices,” he said. 

“This often creates a chicken-or-egg scenario – where organisations contemplate whether to push forward with BYOD without having complete security controls in place, or to postpone until they can be absolutely certain data won’t be leaked.”

Mr Clawson added that in order for this situation to change, businesses must be educated on the full scope of mobile security risks, as well as the technology solutions that can help them stay secure at every part of the life cycle.