Last updated: 17.09.13

Employers 'must pay heed to BYOD risks'

Companies need to behave more vigilantly when it comes to the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend.

This is according to BYOD expert James Rawbone, who spoke to IT Pro Portal about recent research published by Acronis, which studied business' reactions to four key challenges facing IT departments - how prepared they are for secure mobile collaboration and BYOD, the impact of virtualisation on backup and recovery, the explosion in data growth and monitoring cloud usage for storage.

Mr Rawbone, who is a senior partner and account manager for Europe, the Middle East and Africa within the Enterprise Mobile Solutions department at Acronis, said one of the most surprising results of the study was that 60 per cent of firms have no personal device policy in place.

It was also revealed that simple security measures are not being implemented, with only 31 per cent of organisations mandating device passwords and 21 per cent carrying out remote device wipes after someone leaves the company.

Mr Rawbone said time and money are the main reasons why employers are failing to train their staff on the risks of BYOD, or they are unaware that their workers are using such solutions or turning a blind eye to issues affecting their corporate data.

"Most companies are struck with tight budgets across the board and in particular within their IT department, as well as their overall staffing," he added.

While giving workers permission to bring their mobile phones and tablets into work can have lots of benefits, such as allowing them to access online training materials and company resources, networks and data must be kept secure.

Mr Rawbone recommended training employees on the risk of public clouds and implementing a mobile file management solution, as this will let staff access and synchronise work documents so they won't need to resort to services like Dropbox.

"Employees will from then on keep using DropBox or SkyDrive for their own personal files and revert to their corporate container whenever they want to access or save work files," he remarked.