10 Things to Consider Before Adopting a BYOD Program

1 - 10 Things to Consider Before Adopting a BYOD Program
2 - Keeping Employees Mobile a Major Driver
3 - iOS, Android and Windows Phone Are Most Popular
4 - Productivity Apps Popular, but Carry Security Risk
5 - Unauthorized Access to Data a Major Concern
6 - Interest in BYOD Varies Widely
7 - An Evolving Process for Organizations
8 - Password Protection, Encryption Are Popular Security Measures
9 - Malware Protection, MDM Component Key
10 - BYOD Aimed at Improving Productivity
11 - Businesses Better at Readying BYOD Programs
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10 Things to Consider Before Adopting a BYOD Program

by Nathan Eddy

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Keeping Employees Mobile a Major Driver

The survey indicated that the key drivers for BYOD are keeping employees mobile (57 percent), satisfied (56 percent) and productive (54 percent), with smartphones—used by 87 percent of respondents—the dominant form factor among supported mobile devices, followed by laptops (79 percent) and tablets (68 percent).

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iOS, Android and Windows Phone Are Most Popular

Among all mobile devices considered for BYOD (including smartphones, tablets and laptops), Apple's iOS is still the dominant mobile platform at 76 percent. BlackBerry (40 percent) declined in popularity compared with last year, slipping 8 percent, while Google's Android platform (69 percent) and Microsoft Windows Phone (66 percent) are gaining in popularity. Microsoft saw the largest gain in adoption, rising 15 percent compared with 2013.

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Productivity Apps Popular, but Carry Security Risk

While applications designed to boost productivity are the very same applications that can increase the risk of data breaches, intrusions and malware incidents, they are by far the most popular, with 86 percent using email, calendar and contact apps. Second was document access and editing apps (45 percent), followed by access to Sharepoint and intranet (41 percent) and access to company-built applications (34 percent).

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Unauthorized Access to Data a Major Concern

Additional IT resources to manage security incidents (30 percent) are by far the biggest negative impact of mobile security threats, with the biggest BYOD security concerns the loss of company or client data (67 percent), unauthorized access to company data and systems (57 percent) and fear of downloading content or apps with security exploits (47 percent).

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Interest in BYOD Varies Widely

While 20 percent of organizations are working on the policies, processes and infrastructure for BYOD, 21 percent have fully implemented BYOD. Twenty-six percent of survey participants are considering BYOD but have not adopted it yet. Thirteen percent said they have not yet adopted it and have no plans to. Three percent said a BYOD program would not be allowed, and 2 percent adopted programs only to abandon them.

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An Evolving Process for Organizations

For 31 percent of organizations, BYOD is still under evaluation, followed by 26 percent of organizations with privately owned devices in limited use, and 24 percent with widespread use of privately owned devices. Although company-owned devices are widely used by 40 percent of organizations, 21 percent admit to having unsupported personal mobile devices in their organization.

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Password Protection, Encryption Are Popular Security Measures

The most common risk control measure is password protection (67 percent), followed by remote wiping of data (52 percent) and use of encryption (43 percent). The report cautioned that the rise in extending BYOD to partners, customers and suppliers is resulting in a continued dissolution of the traditional security perimeter and is driving the need for new security strategies and architectures.

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Malware Protection, MDM Component Key

The survey revealed that 43 percent of organizations use mobile device management (MDM) tools to monitor and manage mobile devices, followed by endpoint security tools (39 percent) and network access controls (38 percent). Fewer than a third of respondents (30 percent) employ endpoint malware protection, while a shocking 22 percent employ no tools to manage mobile devices.

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BYOD Aimed at Improving Productivity

Improving employee productivity was cited by 61 percent of respondents as the most important measure of a BYOD program, followed by improvements in security (52 percent), reducing costs (44 percent) and increasing usability (41 percent). Simplifying device management was cited by 39 percent of respondents as the single most important measure of BYOD.

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Businesses Better at Readying BYOD Programs

This year, 40 percent of respondents ranked their BYOD readiness at 60 percent or higher, compared with 34 percent last year, indicating that while there is still some way to go toward broad BYOD adoption, organizations are somewhat better prepared for BYOD than a year ago. For 25 percent of organizations, BYOD budgets will increase, while budgets will remain flat for 33 percent.

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