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Sixty seven per cent of UAE companies believe BYOD is a threat


Thirty per cent intend to ban personal mobile devices at work to avoid security breaches

February 4, 2014 4:44 by

Personal mobile devices have become a necessary accessory to people worldwide. However, according to a recent survey by B2B International and Kaspersky Lab, most companies are frowning upon the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend. Especially, when employees use their personal mobile devices for work purposes.

The survey – titled Global Corporate IT Security Risks 2013 survey – involved interviews with representatives of companies in 24 countries including the UAE.

Nevertheless, the percentage of companies taking measures to minimize this threat is relatively small.

Respondents in Japan expressed the most concern about this growing trend and its associated threats: 93 per cent agreed that BYOD is a threat to their businesses. Companies in North America (69 per cent) also voiced a high level of concern, as did Western Europe (62 per cent) and the GCC region (65 per cent), including the UAE (67 per cent). Russian companies were the least concerned, with 57 per cent of participants acknowledging any threat posed by a BYOD policy.

The survey reveals that while 19 per cent of respondents in the UAE say they plan to encourage the use of personal smartphones and tablets at work, 30 per cent plan to prohibit the number and types of devices used and another 40 per cent said they did not believe that prohibitive measures would prevent employees from using their own devices.

The survey also suggests that the improper use of these devices is a frequent cause of IT security incidents, resulting in the loss of critical company data. Ten per cent of respondents in the UAE say their companies suffered confidential data leaks through mobile email clients, text messaging, and other channels available to smartphone and tablet owners.

However, comparatively few companies are adopting specialised software products to protect themselves against such threats. Approximately 48 per cent of companies in the UAE are using antivirus solutions to integrate, protect and manage mobile devices on the corporate network, and 33 per cent use mobile device management solutions.

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