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Is BYOD a help or a headache?

18 / 12 / 2012
In the age of sleek Samsung smartphones and envy-inducing iPads, it seems unlikely that the popularity of BYOD (bring your own device) in the workplace is going to wane any time soon.
For the younger generation in particular it appears that using a consumer device during a regular work day is simply a standard business practice.

A recent study sponsored by Fortinet found that more than half of young 20-something workers view BYOD as a right rather than just a privilege.

Nearly 4,000 respondents said that they already used personal mobile devices at work on a regular basis and one-in-three said that they would break any anti-BYOD rules and contravene any security policy that prevented them fromusing their own equipment.

According to Patrice Perche, vice president of international sales and support for Fortinet, these figures illustrate the challenge that employers face as they try to balance worker demands with security worries.

"While users want and expect to use their own devices for work, mostly for personal convenience, they do not want to hand over responsibility for security on their devices to the organisation," he said.

Two-thirds of those surveyed said that they, not the company, should be responsible for the security of devices. The problem however is when workers do not have the expertise to prevent security breaches related to BYOD policies.

For example, they risk losing sensitive, corporate data is the personal mobile device where it is stored is lost or stolen.

It is not only security that is a concern: costs are also an issue.
According to new research by enterprise ICT solutions and Damovo UK, 73 per cent of IT directors are worried that the increasing prevalence of BYOD will cause IT costs to spiral out of control.

If BYOD has the potential to bring serious security risks and increased expense to the purchase, are there are any advantages?

According to Phil Gillard, general manager at, using BYOD allows a new generation of workforce the capabilities that they can use effectively.

"I think the value of that sharing of information and a collaborative approach far outweighs any potential security issues," he commented.

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