Mobile Users Want to Use Their Own Devices, Want Employers to Bring the Security

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Tim Dreyer, Director PR/Analyst RelationsA lot has been written about the influx of personal devices being used in the enterprise lately. And while there are certainly benefits to employee efficiency in allowing the use of the smartphones and tablets to help them remotely connect to the enterprise, there are clearly security risks as well.

An ITWorld piece published this week on BYOD cited some very interesting stats from a recent Juniper Networks survey of 4,000 or so mobile-using IT professionals and several points jumped out at me.  Many of the mobile users who responded to the survey said that they depend on their network provider for their device and content security. And when they use those devices within their employer’s enterprise, they have the same expectation. In fact 90% of those surveyed felt that their employer should provide personal device security when they use on the company network. The problem is many of these employees go around their company’s device security policy anyway. So there should be no surprise then that about a third of the companies in the survey encountered some level of security issue from non-approved personal mobile devised accessing enterprise data.

Cleary BYOD is not going away so learning how to balance the benefits with the security issues is the task at hand. IT needs to adapt in order to keep up with IT consumerization in order to accommodate the skills and technologies that make employees productive and allow them to leverage enterprise resources. Intelligent, measured management that balances IT device consumerization and the security needs of legacy systems is a big and growing challenge for IT. Meeting in the middle ground is key. It is nearly impossible to construct a policy to allow every personal device onto the network so if departments can identify the phones and tablets they are able to support and employees restrict their personal device usage to conform to those policies, both security and productivity can remain high.