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BYOD out of control in many organizations

New research by LANDesk Software has found that while employee use of smart mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets for work is widespread, only half of IT service desk managers can manage the use of company owned devices, and this falls to around 20 percent when personal devices are considered.

The research, which surveyed 200 IT professionals in the UK between May and July 2012, found that 80 percent of companies issue smart devices to employees and 60 percent are aware that personal devices access the company network.

When it comes to ability to manage such devices, 47 percent are able to tell what company-owned devices connect to their network and a similar number have a strategy or policy governing their use. When personal devices are also considered the ability to see them on the network remains relatively high at 43 percent but only 23 percent have a strategy or policy governing their use.

In terms of essential technical management of company owned devices, only 50 percent of IT professionals feel they could prevent viruses entering their network through this route, 51 percent could remotely wipe data from lost and stolen devices and 47 percent could remotely access devices to control settings. When asked to factor in personal devices in relations to those capabilities, the response fell to 25 percent, 22 percent and 15 percent respectively.

Mobile management limitations are clearly discomfiting IT professionals. When asked about their views regarding the security implications of smart devices, 89 percent said they were ‘concerned’ or ‘very concerned’ about their ability to prevent viruses entering the company network and 91 percent were ‘concerned’ or ‘very concerned’ about the security of corporate data.

“I don’t think anyone will be surprised that companies have made so much progress in introducing smart devices into the workplace. What may be a shock, especially for anyone who understands what keeps IT management awake at night, is that IT departments have not been equipped by their organizations to manage this explosion,” said Andy Baldin, vice president EMEA at LANDesk.

“How long does anyone think this precarious situation can be sustained? We’ve seen company after company lose confidential data and have delivery of their core services interrupted through security breaches, even when policies are in place. In the area of mobility, our survey suggests that the stable door is not just unlatched; it’s been left wide open. A catastrophic corporate security breach via employee personal mobile device is only a matter of time. IT departments failing to take mobile device security seriously will look worse than ridiculous when the hammer falls.”

“The use of smart devices in the workplace is only going to become more prevalent, device types will fragment further and security risks will keep getting more complex. IT departments must be able to manage their users, regardless of device, and, given we’re discussing mobility, they ought to be able to service them from anywhere. The technology is there; sorting this out is a piece of cake. There is simply no excuse to be caught out.”

www.landesk.com

•Date: 12th Sept 2012 • UK/World •Type: Article • Topic: ISM

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