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Monday, April 29, 2013

Organizations largely view BYOD benefits as greater than risks

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While bring your own device (BYOD) is no longer a new concept, it has not yet achieved universal acceptance. Many firms have completely embraced the strategy, but others remain holdouts. There are a number of different reasons why some companies have yet to adopt BYOD policies, but undoubtedly the most commonly cited is security. Decision-makers worry, and not without reason, that adopting a BYOD approach will put corporate data at risk of loss or exposure.

However, these concerns seem to be receding. A recent study found that most organizations believe that the value inherent to BYOD outweighs the risks presented by the strategy.

The study, conducted by Symantec, included 236 attendees at the recent Symantec Vision conference. Of these, the majority had experienced at least one mobile security incident in the past year, including lost or stolen devices (60 percent), malware infections (43 percent) and the exposure of sensitive data (19 percent).

Yet despite these incidents, 70 percent of respondents said the benefits of mobile solutions outweigh the risks and challenges, and 83 percent continue to allow BYOD.

To minimize the risks of BYOD, 90 percent of participants indicated they utilize mobility management technology to secure, configure and provision their firm's mobile-accessed data.

BYOD-specific tools can prove invaluable for firms eager to adopt this strategy. With secure file sharing solutions, for example, a company can ensure that the messages sent and received by employees using their own mobile devices remain protected at all times. Critically, a high-end solution will not require additional steps on the part of employees, which encourages employee cooperation with official BYOD policies. If the data protection tools are onerous, however, it is likely some employees will choose not to use these solutions, thereby putting corporate data at risk.