The number of companies investing in mobile management and security solutions related to bring your own device (BYOD) programs is growing, but not nearly as fast as the number of companies that are actually offering BYOD to their employees. The result is that many companies are putting themselves and their data at risk by jumping onto the BYOD bandwagon too quickly and without properly securing employee iPhones, iPads, and other devices or the business data that is stored on them.
According to a study by OnForce, a company that matches businesses with IT and consumer electronics technicians, more than half the technicians that help businesses implement BYOD have seen a 25% increase in demand associated with employee devices (either setting up individual devices or broader BYOD options).
Less than one-third of those technicians have seen an increase in requests for mobile device security solutions. That implies that a number of businesses are moving forward with official or unofficial BYOD options without implementing mobile management or security. That could expose companies to significant risks if a device is lost or stolen.
The report comes as part of OnForce’s Q3 Confidence Index, a poll that reflects the opinion of more than 500 technology service professionals.
The poll also found that the number of mobile devices brought into the workplace by individual users is growing. Nearly two-thirds (58%) of technicians working in the BYOD space have seen an uptick in the number of devices used by workers as well as an increase the diversity of devices over the past year.
Gene Morris, General Manager at BrightStar Enterprise Solutions Inc, a company works with OnForce, notes that he expects to see a broader interest in BYOD security and mobile management over the next year or so.
As businesses implement BYOD, there are significant mobile security issues to keep in mind. I help businesses connect and configure personal mobile devices, and at the same time consult with them about the security risks. As BYOD continues to infiltrate the business environment, we do anticipate a significant uptick in mobile security implementations in the next 8-12 months.
Bring your own device programs carry a number of risks for companies, many of them related to corporate data being stored on or accessed by devices with little or no data security or device management options in place. Most enterprise companies and small businesses use mobile management solutions that lock down insecure device features or that create secure encrypted storage space on devices like the iPhone and iPad as well as Android devices, BlackBerries, and other mobile devices.