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Cybersecurity remains biggest barrier to BYOD adoption

01 Apr 2016

The global BYOD and enterprise mobility market is forecast to reach $360 billion by 2020, and while increased productivity and employee satisfaction is driving adoption, cybersecurity risks remain the biggest barrier against success.

In fact, according to new research from Crowd Research Partners, one in five organisations suffered a mobile security breach, and threats are on the rise which is imposing a heavy burden on IT and helpdesk staff.

Crowd Research Partners’ new 2016 BYOD and Mobile Security Report, conducted with various data security vendors including Check Point Software and Tenable Network Security, and was based on a survey of over 800 global cybersecurity professionals.

Holger Schulze, founder of the 300,000 member Information Security Community on LinkedIn, says, “The 2016 BYOD and Mobile Security report reveals that enterprise security risks and mobile data breaches are on the rise. While these threats can significantly impact the success of BYOD initiatives and place a burden on IT support staff, this is also an opportunity for organisations to implement effective cybersecurity solutions to strengthen their security posture and capitalise on the promise of enterprise mobility."

The primary finding about BYOD and mobile security that surfaced from the study was that security (39%) and employee privacy (12%) are the biggest inhibitors of BYOD adoption. In contrast, management opposition (3%) and user experience concerns (4%) rank far lower.

Furthermore, one in five organisations suffered a mobile security breach, primarily driven by malware and malicious WiFi.

According to the report, 48% of organisations don’t know if their mobile devices have connected to a malicious WiFi, while 24% of organisations confirmed such an exposure. 

The study also found that security threats to BYOD impose heavy burdens on organisations’ IT resources (35%) and help desk workloads (27%), and despite increasing mobile security threats, data breaches and new regulations, only 30% of organisations are increasing security budgets for BYOD in the next 12 months. Meanwhile, 37% have no plans to change their security budgets.

Nat Kausik, CEO of Bitglass, says, "The threat of data leakage is more prevalent than ever as employees look to access sensitive corporate information on mobile devices outside the corporate network. Unfortunately, few organisations have adequate risk control measures in place. Less than half support critical capabilities like device encryption and DLP - a gap that suggests more comprehensive BYOD security solutions are needed.”

Pat Clawson, Blancco Technology Group CEO, adds, “BYOD can be a tough nut for organisations to crack. Despite its many benefits, our study found that 21% of organisations have experienced a data breach resulting from BYOD or corporate-owned mobile devices. This often creates a chicken-or-egg scenario - where organisations contemplate whether to push forward with BYOD without having complete security controls in place, or to postpone until they can be absolutely certain data won’t be leaked.

“To change this, we need to educate businesses on the full scope of mobile security risks and technology solutions that can help them protect data across the entire lifecycle - and get the C-suite to understand the impact on overall business growth.”

According to Michael Shaulov, head of mobility product management at Check Point Software Technologies, “Keeping pace with the unknown risks a BYOD strategy brings to the corporate environment is a struggle for most organisations. Overburdened IT staff need comprehensive and automatic threat defence that protects mobile devices and data, but that also respects employee concerns over the privacy of their personal information.”

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