The Bitglass 2021 BYOD Security Report revealed that organisations are ill-equipped to deal with growing security threats such as malware and data theft following the rapid adoption of unmanaged personal devices connecting to work-related resources (aka BYOD).
Concern is that the situation will become even more striking as more enterprises shift to permanent remote work or hybrid work models.
Holger Schulze, founder, Cybersecurity Insiders, noted that the survey revealed that organisations are not paying enough attention securing unmanaged personal devices and why the time is now for them to think differently when it comes to securing BYOD.”
● BYOD is here to stay
The shift to remote work amid the pandemic resulted in 47% of organisations reporting an increase of personal devices being used for work. A total of 82% of organisations said they now actively enable BYOD to some extent.
While the use of personal devices has helped businesses improve employee productivity and satisfaction, while also reducing costs, challenges associated with managing device access and mobile security remain.
● Securing BYOD to prevent data loss/theft is a top concern
The most critical concern respondents expressed was data leakage or loss (62%). Other apprehensions included users downloading unsafe apps or content (54%), lost or stolen devices (53%), and unauthorised access to company data and systems (51%).
● Enterprises are running blind
For example, 22% of organisations indicated they can confirm that unmanaged devices have downloaded malware in the past 12 months. However, 49% indicated they are not sure or could not disclose whether the same could be said for them. This lack of visibility can be detrimental to the overall business.
● Using old tools vs modern threats
A total of 41% of organisations reported relying on endpoint malware protection for BYOD—an approach that is not ideal for personal devices which are hard to control and manage. 30% of firms said they don’t protect against malware for BYOD at all.
While cloud-based malware protection tools are often a far better fit, only 11% of organisations surveyed are currently using these measures.
Personal devices will provide the flexibility and remote access that employees require. Anurag Kahol, CTO, Bitglass, warns however that this new way of working, however, will undoubtedly stretch the resources of security teams.
“This is why there has never been a more important time for enterprises to seriously rethink their approach to secure all forms of communication amongst users, devices, apps, or web destinations,” he added.