More European employers accepting BYOD

But one-quarter lacking security policy: Survey

More European employers are allowing employees to bring your own device (BYOD) to the workplace, according to a survey.

More than one-quarter (28 per cent) allow the use of personal mobile devices for work, with a 20-percentage-point drop in employers that prohibit BYOD (down to 30 per cent from 58 per cent), found the survey of 4,512 members of ISACA, a non-profit association for IT professionals.

In North America, 34 per cent of organizations allow BYOD compared to 48 per cent in Oceania, found the 83-country survey.

More than one-half (54 per cent) of IT professionals in Europe reported the risk of BYOD outweighs the benefit, compared to 15 per cent who said the benefits are greater than the risk and 31 per cent who said the benefits and risks are balanced.

Yet, 26 per cent of enterprises still do not have a security policy in place that addresses BYOD, said IT Risk/Reward Barometer.

To help control BYOD risk, employers in Europe said they have:

•encryption (48 per cent)

•a password management system (44 per cent)

•remote wipe capabilities (37 per cent).

“Enterprises in Europe are starting to follow the global trend of employees using their own devices, and are blurring the lines between work and personal activities. Personally owned PCs or mobile devices — typically more difficult to secure than work-issued devices — can increase the risk of data breaches, viruses or malware. Controls and policies need to be enforced with employee training and safeguards to protect enterprises and their employees," said Ramsés Gallego, international vice-president at ISACA and security strategist and evangelist at Quest Software, a Dell Company.

Employee activities that ISACA members identify as high risk are storing work passwords on personal devices (80 per cent say it poses a high risk to the enterprise) and using online file-sharing services such as Google Docs or Dropbox for work documents without the company’s permission (71 per cent). More than one-half (63 per cent) of organizations prohibit using a file-sharing service for company documents.

Companies in Europe are increasingly allowing employees to use their work devices for personal activities, found ISACA. Nearly 67 per cent allow employees to access social networking sites from a work device (34 per cent of those impose some limitations), and 73 per cent allow employees to shop online using a work-supplied device (38 per cent freely allow it and 35 per cent have some limitations).

Latest stories