Many companies are putting their data at risk by failing to secure BYOD
- Published: Friday, 03 May 2019 07:25
Research from Bitglass has found that organizations are enabling bring your own device (BYOD) without putting proper security tools, training, and best practices in place. This represents a significant threat to the safety of corporate information.
According to the Bitglass survey, most businesses are embracing BYOD in the workplace:74 percent of respondents said that employees at their companies are allowed to use personal devices to perform their work. However, nearly half of respondents (47 percent) either said that their employer did not have a clear BYOD security policy, or that they did not know if such a policy was in place at all.
Respondents considered unmanaged devices (31 percent) to be the top blind spot for data leakage; additionally, mobile devices (which are typically unmanaged) were the third largest blind spot at 18 percent. Despite this, less than a fifth of respondents (16 percent) cited unmanaged devices as a top security priority for their organizations this year.
“Embracing BYOD can yield benefits like increased productivity, cost savings, and talent retention,” said Steve Armstrong, Regional Director, Bitglass. “However, allowing employees to perform their work from personal devices can lead to data leakage if proper BYOD policies and security solutions are not put in place.”
“In order to securely reap the benefits of BYOD, organizations need advanced tools such as user and entity behaviour analytics (UEBA) and data loss prevention (DLP). Additionally, they must be able to selectively wipe corporate data from personal devices without affecting the personal data therein. However, for deployments to be successful, these capabilities need to be implemented through an agentless solution that won’t hinder user privacy or device functionality.”
Key findings from the survey:
- Respondents stated that their organizations’ top overall security priorities for the year were malware protection (26 percent), unmanaged device access (16 percent), consolidating security solutions (16 percent), controlling external sharing (14 percent), improved analytics (11 percent), and unmanaged applications (9 percent).
- When asked for the tools that they saw as the least effective for securing personal devices, respondents identified password-protected documents as the frontrunner (36 percent), and face recognition (20 percent) as the second least effective.
- For multi-factor authentication on BYO devices, 37 percent of organizations use third party applications, 13 percent use SMS tokens, 11 percent use hardware tokens, and 11 percent use Google Authenticator; 28 percent of respondents stated that their organizations do not use MFA on personal endpoints.
Bitglass surveyed more than 150 IT and security professionals about the state of their organizations’ BYOD policies, their security priorities for the next 12 months, and their core security concerns. The survey took place at the 2019 Cloud Expo Europe in London.