IT departments failing to recognise BYOD usage

IT departments failing to recognise BYOD usage

Many companies are unaware or are deciding to ignore the fact that many of their employees are using personal smartphones and tablets for work-related purposes.

A report published by Ovum has revealed that almost a third of companies are turning a blind eye to the activities of their staff when it comes to the use of personal devices.

Over half (57.1 per cent) of employees questioned by Ovum admitted to using some form of BYOD, with 28.4 per cent of those that engage in this behaviour revealing that their IT department actively ignores the fact that it is going on within the organisation.

This practice raises serious questions about the security measures being put in place by the IT departments of these firms. It may be the case that these businesses are unable to protect the data being accessed by workers.

Also, they may not be able to react if a device is lost or stolen outside of the office, as recently occurred at the space agency NASA. A laptop was stolen from an employee's car, which contained unencrypted data concerning around 10,000 members of staff.

Richard Absalom, consumer impact IT analyst at Ovum, said far too much BYOD activity is being left unmanaged.

"Unmanaged BYOD creates a great data security risk, and the implications of losing sensitive data via a personally owned device can be dire from financial, reputational and legal perspectives.

"Every business must understand the behaviour of its own employees, which, as we have seen, is likely to be influenced by its location, and manage it according to its risk profile."

Companies looking to protect themselves from the damaging nature of data breaches or lost and stolen devices should look to implement some form of mobile device management (MDM).

The tool allows businesses to monitor and manage a host of equipment from one place and also offers the possibility to remotely wipe information and sensitive corporate data from a lost or stolen device.