Fewer employees recognise security risks of BYOD

The bring your own device (BYOD) trend has been steadily gathering hype in technology circles, but it appears that the majority of employees may not be fully aware of the security risks associated with it.

There are many advantages to utilising a BYOD strategy in the workplace – employees are able to use their own devices while organisations save on the cost of procuring these devices for their workforce.

However, as with any implementation of new technology, it's important to consider the potential security impact that BYOD could have on your organisation.

New global research commissioned by BT and Cisco shows that just over a quarter (26 per cent) of IT managers believe that all workers understand the access requirements or permissions for their mobiles.

This figure has increased from last year where it was at 19 per cent, but only 26 per cent of employees who already use a personal device at work recognise the potential security risks this involves for the company.

These statistics could be a timely reminder for Australian organisations to update their vulnerability management policies in light of newer technology trends such as BYOD.

"It's clear that enabling BYOD in its many forms is about much more than simply cool devices and a mobile contract," said Neil Sutton, the vice president of global portfolio at BT Global Services.

"Organisations need to consider elements of device compatibility, security, Wi-Fi, network, application performance, with a focus on driving costs down."

Aside from security concerns, the BYOD trend has also been associated with other potentially negative effects. The survey found that the growing usage of smart devices has led to a "significant and increased" demand for bandwidth in 84 per cent of organisations.

In addition to this, over half (56 per cent) of IT managers say they have noticed a decline in the performance of some applications as a result of adopting the BYOD trend.

Of the workers with Wi-Fi access in their office, 46 per cent said they have experienced delays in logging on or accessing applications, and a further 39 per cent noticed applications running more slowly now than before.

If your organisation is considering a BYOD strategy for the workplace, it's important to consider the security risks this may have.

Undertaking a thorough security audit can ensure that any potential vulnerabilities and flaws are picked up through penetration testing, before they can wreak havoc on your ICT networks.

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