Companies may want to spend some time establishing and educating their employees on bring your own device (BYOD) policies. That’s because new research has found that employees are using personal devices for work regardless of what policies a company has in place.
Overall, 43 percent of people use their smartphones at least one time a week for work-related purposes. An additional 33 percent of tablet users also say they use their personal devices for work tasks. Email, calendar and company apps were the most popular apps for workers and information technology (IT) decision makers alike. Additionally, those workers and decision makers also used mobile devices to access company databases, directories and financial information.
Because of that convenience, an overwhelming majority of workers — 76 percent — say that BYOD is something that will not go away. Even IT workers acknowledge that the benefits of BYOD outweigh the risks.
Despite the popularity of BYOD in the workplace, users are not familiar with formal policies at their company. Forty-seven percent of workers say their company does not have a formal policy while an additional 13 percent say they do not know if their company has a policy.
That presents a security risk to companies, particularly if employees do not take steps to keep devices secure. The research found that users are more likely than IT workers to believe that their devices are secure. Workers have those feelings in part because of the security precautions they take with their devices. Workers and IT departments both believe it is the responsibility of employees to secure their devices.
To hold up their end of the bargain, workers say they have installed software updates, have password or PIN locks, run anti-virus programs and have location tracking or apps to lock, locate or erase data. IT decision makers, on the other hand, say they have restricted downloads and access to certain employees in order to ensure devices are secure.
Other findings from the research of 250 IT decision makers and 1,000 workers and conducted by CTIA, an international organization representing the wireless communications industry,includes:
- 60 percent of companies with a formal BYOD policy also provide IT support.
- 61 percent of workers believe that their device is safer when looking at work-related information.
- 11 percent of smartphone and table users have experienced a cyberattack on the device.
- 12 percent of smartphone owners and 9 percent of tablet owners have lost their devices at least once.
- 63 percent of workers say they would prefer to work for a company that allows BYOD.