A new survey by csoonline.com finds that employees are increasingly using their personal devices at their jobs for work-related purposes, making BYOD a de facto program across companies all over the world, regardless of whether an official BYOD policy is in place. The lack or prohibition of corporate BYOD support could lead to problems – such as not being able to monitor the situation because BYOD protection and management is not in place – CSO points out.
60% Do Not Have a BYOD Policy
The survey concluded that approximately 60% of companies don’t have a corporate BYOD policy, although many companies are in the process of creating one. The companies that do have a policy, however, are pretty “restrictive”:
Of the companies with BYOD policies, almost three quarters of them imposed highly restrictive policies on their workers by either requiring personal devices to be approved by the company before being allowed to access the firm’s networks (43 percent) or banning personal devices from company nets (31 percent).
If you do the calculation, this means that only 10% of companies surveyed have an acceptable BYOD program in place (admittedly, the definition of “acceptable” is subjective).
Ten percent is a very low number. I tend to agree with the article that the numbers are misleading, and that there is much more that meets the eye. Especially when you ask the question, What is a “device?” Smartphones and tablets, certainly, are devices. But what about external hard disks or USB flash drives? Are the latter also considered to be part of BYOD? From a data security standpoint, I’d certainly like to think so, as these devices account for a sizable number of data breaches reported in the news.
Take a Lesson from History
For companies that are absolutely opposed to BYOD because of the potential dangers it represents, I can only point out that attempts to prohibit people from doing things tend to fail once you accumulate a certain amount of mass, a certain degree of momentum. History is replete with such examples, the Prohibition being one (alcohol), and the slow legalization of a certain herb being a more contemporary example.
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