65 pct of global companies see personal mobile devices used at work as a threat

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SummaryRespondents in Japan expressed the most concern about this growing trend and its associated threats.

About 65 % of 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. The survey involved 2,895 interviews with representatives of companies in 24 countries, including India.

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%. Itís 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.

The survey finds 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.

However, 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.

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