By Daniel Hunter
Businesses are putting their corporate security at risk, with one in three organisations (33 per cent) allowing their staff unrestricted access to corporate resources from their personal smartphones, according to a survey conducted by B2B International on behalf of Kaspersky Lab.
The research revealed that 38 per cent of companies apply some kind of restriction on smartphone use, such as bans on access to certain network resources. A further 19 per cent have a complete ban on the use of mobile devices for work activities, but only 11 per cent of businesses currently use Mobile Device Management (MDM) software to ensure compliance with corporate security policies.
Despite many companies placing no restrictions on the use of personal devices (smartphones, tablets and laptops), 34 per cent of those surveyed think these devices present a significant threat to the business. A worrying 23 per cent admitted they had already lost business data due to the loss or theft of mobile devices, indicating a significant security risk from the use of personal devices in the workplace.
Even with the evident risks connected to storing work-related information on personal devices, only 9 per cent of organisations are planning to introduce a strict ban on their usage in the future. This could be explained by the fact that 36 per cent of the IT specialists surveyed believed that, irrespective of any new measures, the number of user devices in the workplace will only increase.
David Emm, Senior Security Researcher at Kaspersky Lab comments; “BYOD is a tricky subject for organisations. Allowing employees the opportunity to use their own devices in the workplace can lead to enhanced productivity and creativity, but can also bring increased risk. Organisations should carefully weigh the benefits against the possible risks. Whether they opt for BYOD or not, businesses should look to manage and secure the use of these devices, enabling them to reap the benefits of BYOD without the security worry.”
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