Rise in smart devices to cause CIOs security concerns

by CXOtoday News Desk    Aug 08, 2012

smart devicesThe number of employee-owned smartphones and tablets used in the enterprise is expected to reach 350 million by 2014, up from 150 million in 2012, said a recent report by analyst firm Juniper Research. This represents almost 23 percent of all consumer-owned tablets and smartphones worldwide according to the report.

The increased usage of employee owned mobility devices can be attributed to the fact that mobile phones are becoming increasingly multi-purpose. In fact, they have become so central to most people’s work and personal lives that they simply cannot do by without them. As a result of this the BYOD concept that has been a growing trend in recent years will continue to rise further.
Researchers at Juniper pointed out that this is because employees now expect to be able to do everything from one device, and do not want to be constrained by the technology their company chooses for them. The other factor driving smartphone adoption is the wide availability of cloud-based services, which are accessible from almost anywhere, and the multitude of apps, noted the study.

According to a report the most popular devices used in the workplace include Apple’s iOS followed by Google Android and BlackBerry, among others. The report also found that the public sector is slower to adopt BYOD than private sector enterprises, and the region with the highest uptake is Western Europe.

The report revealed the majority of employees interviewed did not have any security software installed, nor were company materials protected. It pointed out that the BYOD trend is posing certain security risks to the enterprise and CIOs should deal with security issues in a better and more efficient manner.

“While BYOD has become an ‘inevitable’ trend for the enterprise, businesses need to create new end-user IT policies and address the key security issues emerging,” said Nitin Bhas, analyst at Juniper and the report author.

Bhas believes security loopholes were mainly due to the majority of employees’ phones and smart devices not having any form of security software loaded, and company materials being unprotected.

The report explained that the exponential growth of mobile commerce, such as payments and banking, requires that a much efficient security protocol in place to counter each risk posed.