Research commissioned by BT has shown that the majority of IT Managers recognise the advantages of a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy, but remain concerned about employees lacking awareness of the risks.
Bring Your Own Device means staff bring and use their own mobile devices in work, offering a good deal of flexibility, but presenting difficulties in managing the security across a range of varied devices.
The survey encompassed 2,000 IT users and managers across eleven countries, and found that 80 per cent of managers believe that firms with a BYOD policy have a "competitive advantage" over other companies.
Indeed, it would seem BYOD has very much arrived, with four out of five organisations saying they already practice the policy, or intend to within the next two years. 60 per cent of staff claimed they were already hooking their own devices up to the company network.
64 per cent of IT managers felt that BYOD makes employees more productive, and 48 per cent that it allows staff to work more flexibly. 42 per cent of employees felt they were more efficient and productive due to using their own device.
The worry was on the security front, where only 10 per cent of IT managers felt that staff realised the true risk of BYOD. In fact, one in three staff said there was "no risk", and just a quarter recognised the security threat of using a personal device on the corporate network.
Neil Sutton, Vice President, Global Portfolio at BT Global Services, said: "There is no denying it. The BYOD genie is out of the bottle bringing with it unprecedented opportunities for enterprises but also new threats. The new perimeter is everywhere, defined by employee-owned devices, clouds, and extranets. The risk of abuse and attack has multiplied along with this massive expansion."
"To meet these challenges head-on, enterprises need to have a clear policy, a combination of the right tools to implement it, the trust with which to deliver it to employees and the processes in the business that everyone understands and buys into."