Although more and more employees prefer to use their own mobile devices for work, a large majority of companies still ignore security measures and employee education — the primary reasons for the crafting of BYOD policies.
Much has already been discussed in the past about the risks brought on by the adoption of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies in companies the world over. However, a larger majority of business organizations globally continue to ignore or downplay even simple security measures and employee education to protect their business environments.
The prevalence of mobile device use among employees as most preferred business tools expose IT infra to potential danger from hackers and illegal access of sensitive company information. The threat from dishonest employees who could misuse information or those that could be occasioned by accidental access from careless workers are two of the foremost distressing factors that need to be dealt with in enterprise IT infrastructure.
A recent survey released by Acronis reveals that 58 percent of companies do not have the proper policies to manage employee-owned devices such as smartphones, tables and personal computers.
There are companies however that have policies that prohibit personally owned devices from accessing corporate IT systems and this make up 31 percent of businesses. Some firms, or 24 percent of them, make exceptions for top company officials or executives who could be handling sensitive info in the process of doing their work.
What’s alarming about the survey is that is shows that 80 percent of companies polled among business centers in economies like China, Japan, UK, France, Germany, US, Australia and Brazil had yet to educate their employees about security and the various privacy risks that could be encountered owing to BYOD. Among businesses polled, 67 percent did not have policies related to the sharing of corporate information in public clouds such as third-party storage apps like DropBox, Box or Google Docs. Of all polled companies, only 31 percent mandate personally owned device users to have passwords or keylocks, while 21 percent were willing to perform data wipes on mobile devices once employees resigned from companies.
Telecommuting via cloud-based systems that allow file sharing via storage apps functioning within IT systems and VoIP infra also make it inevitable for pros collaborating in projects to sometimes mishandle sensitive info. Although message retrieval systems within hosted enterprise PBX are automatically encrypted, control of multiple devices could prove difficult especially when these aren’t specified to VoIP systems like those offered by RingCentral phone service providers, for instance.
Compatibility and interoperability of systems were also seen to be major obstacles to ensuring that systems were compliant with IT/BYOD policies and this comprise 57 percent of companies polled. Among respondents, 65 percent say they that their companies would support Apple Mac systems in the next 10 months since this would involve a serious amount of IT infra investment.
Opportunities and threats
BYOD has ushered in a heightened sense of collaborative efficiency in workforces to a point that personal devices have permanently changed the workplace equation.
This is positive change that any tech shift enforces effectively in industrial situations where professionals and their peers’ expectations of each other’s efficiency levels push career people to enlist tools and systems that could make them work up to speed. However, it is this same motivation that imperils IT infra in companies and exposes the vulnerability of information in systems.
Research along his thought shows distressing signs of negligence along companies in the face of these dangers. Companies need to implement the right policies and tools to help manage the influx of data between various devices and environments. This is the only way to secure a BYOD environment.
Michelle Simpson is a full-time professional editor that focuses on online writing services, specialized in the field of technology like RingCentral Business Phones Systems, business and current trends in the industry.