IT says BYOD worth the security risk, with one important caveat

April 25, 2013
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Results from a new survey by Symantec confirmed most organizations let employees use personal devices for business purposes even though they also recognize there is some risk of proprietary company information being stolen or misused and other security issues.

A wide range of vendors, including Symantec, have released mobile device management (MDM) and mobile application management (MAM) solutions designed to help manage both company-issued and BYOD devices.

“While 80 percent of organizations enforce their policies, only 68 percent use technology to enforce it,” Symantec said in a blog post. “Surprisingly, one in ten organizations (11 percent) use HR controls to enforce these policies, which typically means they operate on the honor system or base their enforcement on the whistle blowing of other employees.”

Use a mobile device for business but …

It also seems that a majority of organizations will only spread the BYOD love so far. The BYOD survey of 236 attendees at the recent Symantec Vision conference, found that 59 percent of respondents report their organizations do not yet give their employees the same productivity apps on BYOD and corporate-owned devices.

“This is wise until they have technology controls in place to protect the organization,” the blog post states.

But while it may be a wise policy, the survey also found that employees tend to disregard policies and use unauthorized apps for business purposes on mobile devices.
Symantec says the top four apps employees use for business purposes or to access business information from their personally owned mobile devices in the past 12 months were:

  • Web browser (72%)
  • Email (58%)
  • Contacts (56%)
  • Calendar application (55%)


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