Allowing employees to use their own mobile devices for work has led to a number of new challenges, particularly when it comes to keeping devices and data secure.
We talked to PJ Gupta, CEO of mobile security specialist Amtel about the risks BYOD presents to enterprises and what they can do to ensure they remain safe.
The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend shows no sign of slowing; in fact, 38 percent of companies expect to stop providing devices to workers by 2016 according to research from Gartner. As such, some hosted cloud storage providers, such as Dropbox, are making it possible for users to manage both work and personal accounts from a single mobile device using their software. Products like these, which focus heavily on the user experience, are indeed commendable. However, they often ignore the entire IT side of the equation for data management and risk management, something that could cause serious security issues down the road.
There are security and control issues inherent in allowing "rogue users" -- users that find ways around network security policies -- to use consumer accounts at work without IT oversight, as this greatly increases corporate risk. IT must be able to centrally manage and backup all corporate information regardless of whether or not it’s synced or shared via a personal or business account.
Keeping systems secure is more difficult than it was a year ago and this is partly down to human error. So says a new study by security awareness company KnowBe4.
The rise of ransomware, the adoption of BYOD, and rapid changes in technology all make it harder for enterprises to guard against threats both inside and outside the organization.
The increasing trend towards BYOD and mobile devices in the workplace leads to added risks, but employees are often unaware or feel it isn't their problem.
These are among the findings of a survey by security specialist Absolute Software which polled workers in companies with a 1,000 or more employees who use mobiles for work.
BYOD is in full swing, but most businesses are not prepared for it. In order to maintain a high level of security, companies that embrace the movement, or want to, have to change, or adapt, their existing policies to accommodate the wave of devices their employees are bringing in, which is not what 55 percent of them are doing, according to a study issued last week.
Samsung is among the few mobile devices manufacturers to take an active role in ensuring its products are BYOD-ready and enabled straight off the bat. Its response to the movement is Knox, a solution the company released one year ago, to augment the Samsung for Enterprise program. And, now, the successor arrives to beef up Knox even further.
Technologies like BYOD, mobility, cloud computing, and internet usage, as well as internal actions both accidental and malicious, introduce organizations to a multitude of new risks.
A majority of organizations acknowledge that they’re unprepared to deal with security breaches via their BYOD technology.
A new survey released by security awareness training specialist KnowBe4 shows that 53 percent of businesses aren't properly prepared to deal with hacked or stolen mobile devices, even though 50 percent indicated that company-owned tablets, notebooks or smartphones may have been hacked in the past year.
Many businesses are still unsure of the benefits of allowing BYOD despite the fact that it's reckoned 59 percent of people using BYOD get more work done on their own device. So what are the main factors involved?
BYOD implementation expert Moka5 has put together an infographic showing the top three drivers and barriers to companies investing in the technology.
The increasing popularity of BYOD brings a number of challenges for IT departments, not least of which is ensuring that files are handled in an approved and secure way. The problem is that users don’t often see things the same way. A new survey by Workshare shows that 65 percent of mobile users at financial institutions are using file sharing apps that aren't approved by their IT departments.
Only 55 percent were using unauthorized apps to work on documents outside the office in 2012, but the figures are even more worrying when you take into account that 89 percent of financial professionals are now using their own devices for work -- up a mere 3 percent from last year. The report also shows that 78 percent of these workers are using free file sharing services like Dropbox and SkyDrive to access and store corporate documents.
A new survey from tech analysts Juniper Research shows that 80 percent of smartphones will remain unprotected throughout 2013 despite growing consumer awareness of mobile security products.
Juniper reckons that the low level of take up is down to a number of factors, including poor consumer awareness about online attacks on mobile devices and a widespread consumer perception that the price of security products is too high.
Almost three quarters (73 percent) of US-based office workers with enterprise-issued tablets have used them to download personal software and apps. A new survey carried out for content collaboration specialist Huddle by IPSOS-Mori reveals this and other potential security risks resulting from blurred lines between personal and enterprise devices.
The nationwide survey of 2,000 US office workers shows that 62 percent download personal software to company-owned smartphones and 45 percent do the same on laptops. The majority of the 44 percent of office workers using company-issued devices download personal software such as iTunes, Spotify and Dropbox. In addition 52 percent admit to storing, sharing and working on work documents via their personal smartphones, tablets and laptops.
On Tuesday, BlackBerry announced the availability of Secure Work Space for Android and iOS in BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10. The tool, which was unveiled little over three months ago, is designed to provide a safer and BYOD-friendly environment with features like application-wrapping and containerization.
"It offers BlackBerry Balance-like capabilities to provide peace of mind for IT departments in a BYOD environment, while separating personal content for personal use", according to the Canadian maker. BlackBerry's reasons for beefing up the security of Android and iOS devices revolve around expanding needs and the "ever-growing variety of devices" brought into the work space.
Few are those who still profess a bright future for PCs and, starting today, even fewer will. According to IDC's latest forecast, in 2013 the PC market is expected to take another dive with shipments dropping by 7.8 percent. This is triggered by a shift in computing needs as users look for more versatility and less raw power.
"As the market develops, usage patterns and devices are evolving", says IDC program vice president Loren Loverde. "Many users are realizing that everyday computing, such as accessing the Web, connecting to social media, sending emails, as well as using a variety of apps, doesn't require a lot of computing power or local storage". Naysayers, it's time to face the music -- the average user can get away with a tablet or smartphone to get the job done.
For even the most security minded individuals and organizations, malware continues to be a serious problem. It is all well and good knowing that your system has become infected and ensuring that you have the tools to perform a clean-up operation, but the key to avoiding future problems is determining the source of infections.
This is what Sourcefire aims to achieve with its new Network File Trajectory and Device Trajectory techniques. The company points out that in modern work environments the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) model is becoming increasingly common. It is one thing to protect your own machines, but quite another to secure any device that may connect to a network.
Here's a question for you: Is a company-provided device a benefit? You don't pay for hardware, software or service but might get older gear as hidden personal cost. I ask, because if Gartner is right, you'll soon pay, whether or not you want to. A survey of CIOs finds that 38 percent of companies plan to stop providing employees with devices by 2016. Wait a bit before reading on and think about what that really means.
"We're finally reaching the point where IT officially recognizes what has always been going on: People use their business device for nonwork purposes", David Willis, Gartner vice president, says. As someone working from home full time since May 1999, I must confess to rarely using company-issued computers or other devices. But that was my choice, and one often not supported by IT departments. Now, for many workers, there will be only choice of bringing their own.