IT | Security

Basic Security Measures Overlooked with BYOD

By: Absolute Team | 3/19/2012

ESET recently conducted a survey on the bring-your-own-device trend (BYOD) and the associated security challenges. Most companies currently lack policies that address the use of personal devices often leaving security to employees. As we've addressed before, personally-owned device activations are reaching an all-time high, so it should be no surprise that more devices are flooding the workplace.

The ESET survey found that more than 80% of employed adults use a personally-owned device for work (smartphone, tablet, laptop). Personally-owned laptops and desktops are often used to access or store company information; 41% and 47% respectively. 24% use their own smartphone to access and/or store company information and 10% use tablets, showing an increase in the use of devices that could potentially introduce data security risks.

What's troubling, from this data, is the lack of security precautions in place.

  • about one third of BYOD devices have encryption for company data
  • less than 10% of people currently using their own tablets for work have auto-locking enabled (25% of smartphones auto-lock, 33% of laptop users auto-lock)
  • less than half of laptop users use both auto-locking and password protection. The numbers decrease for smartphone & tablet users.

As ESET notes, "less than half of all devices in the BYOD category are protected by the most basic of security measures" and this is troubling indeed. When companies are lax on their BYOD security policies and training programs, it's up to employees to determine the security on their own devices: they are not making smart decisions. It's also likely that many companies have no idea of the extent of BYOD device use, the types of data being accessed, or when that data goes missing.

If you are looking into improving your BYOD policies, call us to learn about how Computrace Mobile and Absolute Manage MDM can help. You can also read our recent whitepaper on managing the security and risk of personal devices in the workplace.