BYOD Security Gap: Survey Finds 49% of European Firms Unprotected

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A recent survey conducted by Jamf, a provider of enterprise-level management and security solutions for Apple ecosystems, has revealed that 49% of European enterprises are operating without a formal Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) policy. 

This statistic indicates that a significant portion of organizations across Europe lack visibility and control over the devices – whether personal or work-related – that access their corporate resources.

The survey, based on responses from over 100 organizations at Jamf’s annual events in London, Germany, France and Amsterdam, sheds light on the prevailing cybersecurity risks faced by businesses. As the summer holiday season prompts employees to connect remotely from personal devices, organizations are experiencing an upswing in logins from devices outside their direct control.

The absence of a structured BYOD policy makes organizations susceptible to various security threats. These vulnerabilities include data leaks, out-of-date software, risky content, shadow IT and the physical loss of devices, all of which jeopardize critical company data.

The survey’s key findings underline growing security concerns, with 43% noting increased worries about compliance-based issues compared to the previous year. Moreover, 53% of organizations are pursuing cost-cutting measures in IT and security, while approximately 67% rely on a limited pool of one to five vendors for device management and security. Notably, 57% of organizations maintain distinct device management and security teams.

Amid the challenges of device management, 41% of respondents said they are apprehensive about the increasing vulnerabilities within Apple operating systems and the associated volume of patches required for both devices and applications.

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“Giving employees the power of choice to use their own devices for work can save the organization money, but the real benefit is a seamless end-user experience that eliminates the need for multiple devices and introduces streamlined productivity workflows,” commented Michael Covington, VP of portfolio strategy at Jamf.

“It’s important to have a clearly documented BYOD policy in place to take advantage of these benefits, but the good news is that the technologies are now available to effectively manage risk in these environments.”

For organizations deliberating on BYOD policy implementation, Jamf suggested enrolling employees in a BYOD or Mobile Device Management (MDM) program while articulating benefits and addressing privacy concerns. 

Additionally, it is recommended that users are engaged in promoting essential management controls and cybersecurity practices, emphasizing the prompt execution of operating system and application updates. Setting baseline standards for devices seeking sensitive business data access is also advised.

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