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Asia leads global BYOD race

IT managers jump on the bandwagon

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Asian IT professionals are racing ahead of their global rivals when it comes to implementing Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies in their organisations, according to new research from BT.

The telecoms giant interviewed 2,000 IT users and managers in 11 countries and found that those in the region were the most forward thinking when it came to consumerisation trends.

A whopping 90 per cent of those in India, China and Singapore said they thought firms with a BYOD policy have a competitive advantage, as opposed to 80 per cent of those worldwide.

In terms of actually implementing such a strategy, 96 per cent of Chinese, 91 per cent of Singaporean and 86 per cent of Indian IT managers said they were currently rolling out BYOD or will be in the next two years. The global average was 81 per cent, said BT.

The benefits of allowing employees to use their personal devices in the workplace are well understood these days, including reduced hardware purchasing and management costs and improved user productivity.

However, IT managers are having to wrestle with the conundrum of how to ensure corporate data is safe when accessed from an employee-owned device – an issue borne out by the study.

Only ten per cent of those interviewed said they thought all users appreciate the security risks involved while less than a fifth said they thought all users understand issues around device access and permissions, BT said.

Nearly three-quarters said security challenges had to be overcome before they could roll out BYOD policies.

Little wonder then that security vendors are queuing up to offer their advice, and products, to help IT managers cope.

A Trend Micro spokesperson told The Reg that IT managers must ensure employees comply with corporate security policies from the outset if they want to use their personal device at work.

“They should avoid accessing their office networks using unauthorised devices. Furthermore, they should only access sites that have been approved by their IT departments,” the vendor added.

“Finally, Trend Micro highly recommends that users install security software that can stop the execution of malicious files on their mobile devices.”

The vendor also pointed out the dangers of malware hidden in legitimate mobile applications.

Android is the main culprit here but last month the Chinese government also expressed concern about security vulnerabilities in the application stores run by mobile operators China Mobile and China Telecom. ®

SANS - Survey on application security programs

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