Friday, December 26, 2014

BYOD's Popularity Grows

Gartner completed a study earlier this year (as reported in the November 14, 2014 issue of Processor Magazine) that shows that 40% of US consumers who work for large corporations and nonprofits are part of the "bring your own device (BYOD) to work" movement. They routinely bring their laptop, notebook, tablet, or smartphone to work, and use their mobile device for both personal and business tasks.

The study found that 25% of workers who use their own device on the job are required by their company to use these personal devices at work. The remaining 75% of workers who use their own device on the job are a 50-50 mix of people whose BYOD activities are tolerated by management, and people who are doing company business on these devices "outside of managerial awareness."

In my opinion, it will take only a handful of well-publicized lawsuits to nudge large companies to take more control of the BYOD trend. Consider, for example, the case of a manager at a Fortune 100 company who has confidential information about a proposed merger or acquisition on his tablet. If that device is stolen, and the confidential information appears on an Internet news site, and that information is covered by a non-disclosure agreement (NDA), then nobody would be surprised by the multi-million dollar lawsuits that would be launched. Similarly, if confidential health or financial data about a company's employees or customers were leaked on the Internet, the legal liabilities could be astronomical.

Eventually, businesses and nonprofits will all be treating information on employees' personal mobile devices as mission-critical data. This is the time for software developers to make sure that their programs and apps are as secure as possible. These applications need to have the ability to completely and permanently delete information, and not simply mark files for deletion and dump them into recycle bins that can be recovered by anybody with a couple of hours of spare time and a $99 file-recovery program.

Security could very well be the criterion that separates winners from losers in the software marketplace in a world where BYOD problems could dominate the headlines.

No comments:

Post a Comment