Most companies see the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend, where employees use their personal mobile devices for work purposes, as a growing threat to business. Even so, the percentage of companies taking measures to minimize this threat is relatively small, according to the results of the Global Corporate IT Security Risks 2013 survey, conducted by B2B International in collaboration with Kaspersky Lab. This survey involved 2,895 interviews with representatives of companies in 24 countries.
Respondents in Japan expressed the most concern about this growing trend and its associated threats: 93% agreed that BYOD is a threat to their businesses. Companies in North America (69%) also voiced a high level of concern, as did those in the Middle East (65%) and Western Europe (62%). Russian companies were the least concerned, with 57% of participants acknowledging any threat posed by a BYOD policy.
At the same time, most companies do not plan to introduce any prohibitive measures against the use of personal devices at the workplace. On the contrary, about 31% of respondents said they plan to encourage the use of personal smartphones and tablets at work, while another 34% said they did not believe that prohibitive measures would prevent employees from using their own devices.
Nevertheless, the percentage of companies planning to restrict the use of personal devices for work purposes is on the rise: the number of respondents reporting plans to impose restrictions was up by 6% from 19% in 2012 to 25% in 2013. The percentage of companies planning to impose more stringent restrictions against the use of personal devices at work is unchanged from last year, at 10%.
It’s easy to see why there are growing business concerns about threats posed by mobile devices: the survey also shows that the improper use of these devices is a frequent cause of IT security incidents, resulting in the loss of critical company data. Nearly 18% (2% more than in 2012) of respondents said their companies had suffered confidential data leaks through mobile email clients, text messaging, and other channels available to smartphone and tablet owners.
But comparatively few companies are adopting specialized software products to protect themselves against such threats. Around 40% of companies are using antivirus solutions to integrate, protect and manage mobile devices on the corporate network, and only 24% (2% fewer than in 2012) use Mobile Device Management solutions.
The importance of mobile security and management
As BYOD becomes more commonplace and the number of incidents involving mobile devices grows, ensuring the centralized management of these devices and keeping them secure has become an important and relevant need. It is equally important that the solutions performing these functions are easy to use, easy to manage, and easy to integrate into the corporate network.
Kaspersky Security for Mobile is available either as a targeted solution or as a component of Kaspersky Endpoint Security for Business. A mobile agent is installed at device level to provide advanced protection against anti-malware threats, while Mobile Device Management (MDM) makes the secure configuration of mobile devices and painless and straightforward. Corporate data can be isolated and encrypted in a container on the personal device, and thanks to Remote Find, Lock and Wipe, this data can be deleted if the device is lost or stolen. A single unified administrative console means that all corporate endpoints, including BYOD mobile devices, can managed together in one integrated security platform.