BYOD Security: Employees Work 20 Extra Hours, Happy, And A Significant Portion A Data Breach Waiting To Happen.

According to a global survey, employees under a BYOD plan can work up to 20 extra hours per week…happily.  This is good news to employers, possibly not so much to employees (but who’s to say, really?  If they’re happy, they’re happy).  Not so good news: despite BYOD in place, 19% do not require mobile security on smartphones, such as AlertBoot Mobile Security, to ensure the integrity of corporate data.

92% Enjoy Job Flexibility

iPass’s Mobile Workforce Report surveyed 1,200 workers worldwide and found the following statistics:

  • 33% of workers never “disconnect from technology” while on holiday.  Whatever that may mean.  I mean, if you carry around a cellphone, is that not disconnecting from technology?

  • 8% disconnect from work while on holiday.

  • 92% of workers are happy with BYOD (“enjoy their job flexibility”).  They’re also happy working longer hours (up to an extra 20 hours per week!).

  • 42% would like even more flexibility (although I don’t think this means they’d be happy working even more hours).

  • 18% of employees pay to play BYOD, a 6% increase from last year.

  • 67% use video conferencing tools – 70% of them prefer Skype; 36% use Cisco; 29% use Apple’s FaceTime; and 13% use Google’s Gmail video.  There’s overlap as people are not restricted to one video communications tool.

From a security standpoint, the most telling statistic: “A fifth (19 percent) of mobile workers said their companies did not require security on smartphones or tablets to access work data.”

BYOD Device Protection: Are You Setting Yourself Up for a Breach?

That one-fifth of 1,200 enterprise workers are not required to secure their devices is surprising.  One has to wonder whether 20% of those surveyed are not aware of their company’s BYOD policies, which is quite a likely possibility.

Granted, not all workers who enjoy BYOD flex time handle, or need to handle, sensitive data.  I can imagine, for example, a janitorial shift supervisor who uses his smartphone to reassign employees on the company’s online schedule board because someone emailed his unavailability on Thursday evening (“a family emergency”).  If that and similar administrative “paper” shuffling is all that the supervisor does…well, there’s no sensitive data involved, so data security is not really an issue.

On the other hand, such employees generally wouldn’t take part in BYOD surveys, I imagine.  Plus, it’s hard to imagine that nearly 20% of employees who see their quality of life ameliorated by BYOD would be working in what is an extremely non data-intensive job.

The only logical conclusions, then, is that (1) a lot of people who are enjoying BYOD don’t realize that they’re breaking company policies and rules or (2) there are companies out there that don’t realize what types of risks they’ve set themselves up for by allowing unfettered, unrestricted, and unprotected access to company data, or (3) a combination of both.

Regardless, it doesn’t bode well for 20% of the companies whose employees were surveyed.

N.B. – Incidentally, this statistic is a bit lower than what I’ve read in the past.  If I remember correctly, a separate survey I had read noted that around 50% of enterprises did not require the use of security on devices like smartphones and tablets.

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