14 Jun 2012

BYOD Is Top Concern for Enterprise Mobile Security

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is a top concern for mobile security, as 90 percent of enterprises have already deployed mobile devices, mostly smartphones, and another 86 percent plan to set up media tablets this year, according to the Gartner survey released today. The study also focused on investment in data centers and adopting technology drivers, including hosted virtual desktop for enterprise mobility.

"Healthy growth in smartphone and media tablet shipments over the next five years will enable a much higher level of IT consumerization than is currently possible," said Chae-Gi Lee, research director at Gartner. "Enterprises should recognize this and look to 'mobile enable' their IT infrastructure for employees to meet the growing demand for mobile device use in the enterprise IT environment."

According to Gartner's survey, many companies allow personal mobile devices to connect to the enterprise network. BYOD demand was higher in Brazil, Russia, India and China where employees are more of the Generation Y, with birth dates from the mid-1970s to the late 1990s.

The study also found the main security issues are the use of privately owned devices and deployment of new enterprise mobile platforms. To support their BYOD policy, companies should focus on technologies such as mobile data protection, network access control and mobile device management.

"Mature countries consider BYOD programs as bringing with them both legal and technical issues, whereas emerging countries only see technical issues,” Gartner’s representative said. “For instance, mature regions are more concerned with security and data privacy regulations for immature mobile device management than emerging regions. In BRIC countries, employee turnover can be high in some sectors, leading to more theft of devices and data."

Many of the companies surveyed said they provided technical support for personal devices - 32 percent of smartphones, 37 percent of tablets and 44 percent of laptops. Technical support varied significantly between regions. In BRIC countries, 44 percent of companies offer technical support for employees’personal devices, while in other regions just 28 per cent give this type of support.

Conducted in October and November last year, the Gartner survey included companies with more than 500 employees from US, UK, Germany, Australia, BRIC countries, and Japan.