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As enhanced efficiency, employee productivity and the reduced burden on IT teams continue to drive adoption of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), a recent survey of more than 500 IT decision makers, conducted by Zenprise – the recognised leader and innovator in mobile device management (MDM) – suggests that UK firms are leaving themselves dangerously exposed to security risks, as only a handful of organisations are implementing formal policies that govern the use of personal devices in the workplace.

The security implications of enabling access to corporate networks and resources from personal devices are significant, and without careful management, could lead to the malicious or accidental leakage of sensitive corporate data. Despite these risks, 39% of respondents stated employees are permitted to use devices for both personal and corporate use, while only 8% have a formal BYOD policy in place.

Even when BYOD policies are in place, businesses are not always convinced these procedures offer adequate protection against breaches, with only 31% of respondents with a policy stating they had no concerns about security. Of everyone surveyed, only 7% said their company was able to lock down app usage, while just 5% have the means to track devices by GPS. These results point to a worrying level of complacency among organisations with regards to secure enterprise mobile device management.

Matt Peachey, VP and GM, EMEA at Zenprise has made the following comments:

“The fact that enterprises are rushing to implement BYOD initiatives is no surprise, thanks to the convenience and ever-growing popularity of mobile devices. However, the security risks posed by this new level of mobility are clearly being overlooked by businesses, and with data breach incidents continuing to rise, it is an issue which simply cannot be ignored.

“With so much to gain from effective BYOD initiatives – which, when done right, can deliver many measurable business benefits as well as supporting growth and innovation – organisations cannot afford to cuts any corners when it comes to security. Comprehensive security processes should be absolutely top-of-the-agenda for any firm looking to enable BYOD, and businesses would be wise to take a holistic approach which focuses on securing data and applications in use, as well as on the mobile devices connecting to the network. With the best available tools in place, incidents such as the loss of an executive’s tablet can be easily mitigated by instantly wiping it clean, reducing the headache for IT and preventing the potential fall-out from a breach of corporate data.

“With all this in mind, it really is vital that organisations urgently re-address the security of enterprise mobility. Indeed, with so much at stake, this must become a top priority for modern businesses as we move into 2013.”