IT departments overlook BYOD security concerns

If you go to the mall during this holiday season and start surveying people with smartphones, there is a good chance they would tell you that have used the device at some point for a work related reason. Even if its just checking email or making a call through the company’s unified communication solution, the functionality and abundance of mobile devices makes them a key business tool.

Because of this, there is the assumption that IT departments are well aware of these devices, what they do and what the risks of adding them to the corporate landscape. However, as the saying goes, you know what happens when you assume.

A recent global study by business analyst firm Ovum focused on the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) strategy. Conducted by surveying 3,796 professionals in 17 different countries, the report found that 46 percent of respondents believe their IT departments are ignoring employee use of mobile devices to get work done. What’s worse is that 28 percent think they do so knowingly.

While there may not be much inherent danger to IT personnel not managing employee’s personal devices, where this becomes a problem is security. Any device that can connect to a company’s wireless network can then put the entire infrastructure at risk. If executives think BYOD is just a passing fad, they are going to be in for a surprise.

Network World contributor Dan Tynan compiled a list of 10 hard truths that IT departments need to accept, and right at the top is the longevity of the “BYOD revolution.”

“IT needs to steer a course between blocking consumer tech and allowing unfettered access to the network from any device,” said Raffi Tchakmakjian, the VP of product management at Trellia, who is quoted in the piece. “BYOD is a scenario IT departments are learning to live with, but they struggle to manage them from a security, cost, and operations perspective.”

Companies using a BYOD strategy need to ensure their network is safe and an IT consulting firm can help with that.

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