Last updated: 23.01.13

BYOD brings app security to forefront

The rise of cloud computing and the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend has resulted in companies saving money with solutions that can simultaneously improve employee motivation and reduce IT costs, but IT leaders will need to do more to combat the security risks associated with the technology in 2013.

This was the message of the Global Information Security Workforce Study conducted by analyst Frost & Sullivan on behalf of the ISC Foundation, which claimed security around cloud-based software and mobile device applications must be addressed.

The research found that 53 per cent of IT professionals across the world work in an environment in which BYOD is permitted, while 74 per cent indicated they thought new security concerns would be required if the trend is to prove sustainable.

Chief information officers (CIOs) were particularly concerned about the state of application and cloud-related security, particularly as firms are becoming more open to allowing their employees to use personal smartphones (87 per cent) and tablets (79 per cent) in the workplace.

The news could prove particularly important to those people engaging in an e-learning environment where information is increasingly being shared through the use of applications and cloud computing in conjunction with BYOD.

"The escalating capabilities of these devices, such as dual-core processors and multi-gigabytes of storage, add to the level of risk these devices pose to corporate assets and sensitive information," said Michael Suby, vice-president of research at Frost & Sullivan.

However, he recognised that IT professionals are capable of utilising "a growing array of security technologies to stem this risk", with BYOD gaining significant attention "from a security perspective".

Frost & Sullivan believes that, implemented properly, strategies that permit personal devices could in fact improve security, provided employees adhere to guidelines set out by their IT specialist.

The analyst also recognised the trend is capable of helping firms achieve productivity "at a pace that was but a remote dream half a decade ago".