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By 9 November 2012 | Categories: news

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It may come as little surprise, given the outstanding growth and increased popularity of tablets and smartphones, but the Global IT Risks survey has confirmed that bring your own device (BYOD) is the biggest trend affecting how businesses operate online.
 
BYOD refers to employees desiring to use their own smartphones and tablets, whether their device of choice relies on iOS, Android or another operating system, and wishing to use their own device for work purposes, while having the same level of access to their workplace network as they would from a machine owned by the company.  
 
The trend has raised concerns, particularly around security, even as it has enticed some businesses with the benefits of having a mobile workforce without requiring a substantial outlay.
 
Managed expectations
 
The survey, which was conducted by B2B International on behalf of Kaspersky Lab, found that 72% of the companies surveyed expect to be involved in the trend extensively in the near future.
 
Even more telling, is that 50% of respondents reported that they planned to actively support BYOD, and even encourage staff to use their own computers and devices for work. The other half sees BYOD as inevitable, whether encouraged or not.
 
Companies of various sizes participated in the Global IT Risks survey, which canvassed 3 300 senior IT professionals in 22 countries, from which the results were drawn. Interestingly, small businesses emerged as being more progressively minded than their larger counterparts, as it was found that BYOD is banned more frequently by larger organisations.
 
Headaches ahead
 
This is curious, considering the fact that security is cited as being the chief concern around BYOD, and enterprises typically have larger IT departments – and budgets – to deal with the challenges posed by the BYOD trend.
 
While 12% of companies overall do not intend to allow personal devices into the workplace in the immediate future, that number drops to only 7% for smaller businesses. A further 19% of respondents intend restricting the level and nature of personal device usage.
 
Considering that users tend to have more than one device that they would like to use for work (such as a smartphone and a tablet), in our view, this might present a significant challenge in its own right, particularly in larger organisations, where the number of devices needing to be managed could easily enter the triple digits.
 
To the point
 
Alexander Erofeev, chief marketing officer at Kaspersky Lab, commented on the fact that the growth of BYOD makes ever-increasing demands on organisations’ IT security.
 
“It’s inevitable that in any company, small or large, many employees will use personal devices to connect to the corporate network and access confidential data. For employees, it’s natural to use their smartphones and tablets – without even considering the possible dangers. That’s why companies need to implement security policies that safeguard both corporate and personal mobile devices,” he explained.

“Our corporate solutions are designed to cover all the security needs of both SMB and big enterprises, even in companies with a strong BYOD culture,” he concluded. 

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