More Employees are Taking Advantage of BYOD Than You Think

Even though employees may not know what BYOD means, they’re still doing it.

According to a recent survey by CTIA-The Wireless Association, 47% of employees had never heard of BYOD (bring your own device), but once it was explained that it meant using a personal mobile device for work,  57% said they done so in the past year. In contrast, IT decision makers guess that only 25% of employees accessed work information on a personal mobile device.

The most common uses of mobile devices were to access email (89% of respondents), calendars (57%), databases (28%) and company apps (28%). The majority of employees (76%) believe that BYOD is the wave of the future and that companies need to get on board, while just over half of IT managers (58%) believe that the benefits of BYOD outweigh the risks.

Among their concerns, IT managers cited the following:

  • Data protection (84% somewhat or very concerned)
  • Security of the devices (81%)
  • Employee compliance (71%)
  • Lost or stolen devices (68%)

Despite these concerns, 42% of IT managers said that their company doesn’t have a BYOD policy. Of those who do have a BYOD policy, 32% did not have even basic mobile device management as a part of their policy.

Mobile Device Management as a Part of BYOD Policy

Here’s what typical BYOD policies did cover:

  • Protections for employees related to privacy and loss of personal information (62%)
  • Backup and restore for personal data for lost phones (40%)
  • Backup and restore for personal data for phones that had been hacked (30%)

Part of the reason for a lack of formal policies around BYOD may be a false sense of security: 83% of employees said that they thought their mobile devices were very or somewhat secure, while 62% of IT decision makers said the same. That is, of course, until a mobile phone is lost, stolen or hacked – which 23% of employees had experienced at least once in the past year. Then, unsurprisingly, security concerns increased.

So what are IT departments doing to protect employee’s mobile device and sensitive company information?

  • Added a password (46%)
  • Installed anti-virus programs (38%)
  • Network certificates (37%)
  • VPNs (31%)
  • Restricting or blocking access to certain websites (30%)

Some of the less common protection measures included:

  • Ability to remotely locate, lock and/or erase data (26%)
  • Restrict downloads (24%)
  • Mobile application management software (22%)

The lessons here are that employees are going to use their personal mobile devices for work, regardless of company policies – a mobile trend that is only going to continue. Given that, it’s best to have the right mobile security measures in place rather than risk a data breach or exposure of sensitive company data if a mobile device is lost, stolen or hacked. Chances are, it’s going to happen to one of your employees at some point.

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