IT departments may be putting companies at risk by ignoring BYOD

November 30, 2012

More professionals are improving efficiency by taking advantage of technology to complete work assignments outside of the office. As the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) movement becomes more popular, it is up to IT departments to develop policies that outline best practices for employees to conduct business on their smartphones and tablets.

According to a recent survey conducted by research firm Ovum, 57 percent of 3,796 polled professionals from 17 countries take part in BYOD in some way. Although some business owners have accepted BYOD, others have ignored the growing trend and are not taking steps to secure company information. Twenty-eight percent of respondents said their IT departments pay no attention to workers who use their mobile devices to check emails or access confidential documents. Seventeen percent of decision-makers are not aware that their employees complete work assignments on their personal devices.

Unless a person takes precautions and installs security software on his or her mobile device, he or she may put company information at risk. It may affect a business' reputation or cause data loss, said Ovum's consumer impact IT analyst, Richard Absalom.

IT staffs should educate employees on the best ways to use technology, and warn them of dangers to look out for, including emails sent from unknown addresses and suspicious links on websites. Experts encourage decision-makers to invest in mobile device management to monitor workers' use of smartphones and tablets on a company's network. Individuals should also employ strong passwords to prevent hackers from accessing information as a form of data protection

If an organization experiences a security breach, the business owner will be to blame, even if an employee was at fault. To avoid a scandal, decision-makers should develop policies and educate their staffs.

-McAfee Cloud Security