Organizations’ Security Measures Failing to Keep Pace with BYOD Use

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Businesses are increasingly embracing the use of BYOD in the workplace but are not taking corresponding steps to protect corporate data. This is according to the Bitglass 2020 BYOD Report, in which 69% of IT professionals surveyed revealed that employees at their companies are allowed to use personal devices to perform work functions.

A significant proportion of organizations also allow BYOD for contractors (26%), partners (21%), consumers (18%) and suppliers (16%).

It is a trend that’s likely to continue as more businesses shift to remote working as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Yet the report highlights that businesses do not have sufficient security in place to protect themselves against this growing use of insecure devices to access their systems. The study discovered that over half (51%) of organizations lack any visibility into file sharing apps, 30% have no visibility or control over mobile enterprise messaging tools and only 9% have cloud-based anti-malware solutions in place.

To exacerbate the problem, in order to properly secure BYODs, 69% said they required physical access to the device while 51% need the device pin, which presents difficulties.

The biggest BYOD security concerns outlined by the respondents were data leakage (69%), users downloading unsafe apps or content (57%), lost or stolen devices (55%), unauthorized access to data and systems (53%) and malware infections (52%).

Anurag Kahol, CTO of Bitglass, said: “The top two reasons enterprises hesitate to enable BYOD relate to company security and employee privacy. However, the reality is that today’s work environment requires the flexibility and remote access that the use of personal devices enables. To remedy this standoff, companies need comprehensive cloud security platforms that are designed to secure any interaction between users, devices, apps or web destinations.”

A study published last month found that 60% of remote workers in the UK regularly engage in practices including using unmanaged, insecure BYOD devices to access corporate systems.

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