BYOD Security: 1 In 4 Mobile Workers Bypass Corporate IT Controls (On Purpose).

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.  Or, if you prefer, the more things change, the more they stay the same.  Truer words could not have been spoken when it comes to BYOD protection, apparently.  The tech news site reports that nearly one in four BYOD mobile workers try to (and succeed) to bypass IT controls meant to protect and control corporate data.

25% for Smartphones, 12% for Tablets

According to a report, nearly 25% of the mobile workforce has admitted to employing a workaround on their smartphones, with the intent of bypassing a company’s IT controls, while 12% admitted to the same.

Ironically enough, the same people pay extra attention to securing their own data: 75% lock their smartphones with passcodes while 40% of tablet users do so.  At least, it’s being pointed out as ironic.

Personally, I feel that these adoption rates may reflect the influence of the IT department.  Statistics that I’ve encountered in the recent past, such as by Javelin, show that 62% of smartphone users don’t set up a password — meaning that 38% do set a password.

38% vs. 75%.  Over the twice the adoption rate.  Either the results prove that these surveys are not worth a spit, or they show that IT departments and corporate policies do have an enormous effect in securing data.  Of course, such rates can only be held up with audits and monitoring — if people are willing to bypass corporate IT controls, they probably wouldn’t think twice about disabling passcodes (and hence the need for mobile device MDM that can follow up on such actions).

Other Stats of Note

There are other statistics that has highlighted:

  • 55% of smartphone users and 30% of tablet users say that their IT departments require remote wipe capability to be enabled.

  • 19% of smartphone users say that their IT departments do not require remote wipe capability to be enabled (which brings up the question, what about the remaining 26%?)

  • 10% of tablet users say that they don’t use remote wipe

  • 74% of companies require some form of protection on smartphones, 24% on tablets.

  • Of those who admitted to bypassing controls, 21% could not wait for IT do something for them; 16% said that IT is slow in responding; 10% cited strict IT policies; and 9% said they didn’t want to deal with the IT department.

Of particular interest was the following:

The survey concluded that the sense of ownership that accompanies BYOD may be encouraging mobile workers to bend IT rules and take the attitude of ‘my device, my rules.’ []

I don’t doubt that this is the case.  After all, one of the reasons why BYOD is viewed favorably is that the “sense of ownership” leads to better care of the equipment on the part of the employees (the equipment is theirs after all.  When you think about it, it makes no sense that this is a reason for advocating BYOD.  My employer doesn’t care what I decide to do with, say, my refrigerator, nor should he.  Why would it be different for a phone?).

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