While the security issues surrounding cloud computing have garnered much attention in recent years, many companies have fallen victim to dangers of the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend they adopted more readily. Oddly enough, adopting BYOD means vicarious integration of cloud computing, though BYOD is where security fails rather than the cloud vendors themselves. According to an August 2012 Trend Micro study, “Security breaches have been experienced by nearly half of all companies that allow BYOD and immediate changes to security protocols typically follows such breaches, with data access right restrictions (45 percent) or security software installation (42.9 percent) being the most frequent responses. Few shut down BYOD altogether following a breach.”
According to a Dell KACE study, 87 percent of business executives say they allow their employees to use a personal device for job-related tasks. On a global scale, according to Juniper research, the number of mobile devices used in corporate environments is expected to go from 150 million in 2012 to 350 million in 2014. After all, smart phones and tablets are certainly hitting their stride in sales and consumers are becoming increasingly savvy on their many uses, including in their business setting.
For the CEO, this equates to a serious competitive edge and so it is safe to say BYOD is not just the flavor of the month. On the other hand, IT managers are left to deal with the complications.
With these issues in mind, IT managers are well advised to plan on ways to tackle these issues in the coming years, which means they have to be ahead of the game in terms of BYOD policy.
Whatever approach you take to safely and effectively implement BYOD, remember that the goal is to strike the right balance between accommodation of employees and IT management. If policy is too restrictive, employees won’t use BYOD and the benefit is lost. If policy is too lenient, the losses incurred by security breaches and an overwhelmed IT department can outweigh any possible benefit.
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