Bring your own device to work (BYOD) is a big hit with workers used to having the latest and greatest personal high-tech devices at their beck and call. On paper it should be a big hit with businesses as well—after all, in many cases it’s the employees who are ponying up the money for the devices. But companies are finding that BYOD is no free lunch.
Two-thirds (67 percent) of IT professionals believe that allowing employees to connect their own devices such as USB drives, smartphones, laptops, tablets and home computers to the corporate network increases costs, according to a study conducted by Lieberman Software Corp., a provider of identity management and security management solutions.
When asked what caused the organization the biggest headache, almost half (43 percent) cited an employee device introducing a virus; more than a quarter (26 percent) pointed to employees losing a device; while employees stealing data was the biggest concern for 22 percent of respondents.
The BYOD wave is being driven by companies pushing their products as corporate ready or compatible, even when they're not, said Philip Lieberman, president and CEO of Lieberman Software. He likened it to the back-door sales process used to promote PCs in the 1980s when IT ruled with an iron fist. Eventually, though, IT departments were forced to adopt PCs as the corporate standard in response to the demands of users and managers.
"In today's consumer-owned devices, the ability to adopt and sustain enterprise access and revocation controls is nonexistent or impaired," Liberman said. "In an effort to meet the demand of BYOD, enterprises are being forced to employ soft certificates with diminished security. While end-users might love the convenience, a lost or compromised device can fast become a nightmare for the CIO. Make sure you understand what you’re opening the organization up to when you allow, or even encourage, your work force to bring their own devices."