BYOD Still Immature, But Companies Keep Accelerating

When bring your own device (BYOD) hit the enterprise in 2009, companies believed the productivity and efficiency associated with the new initiative would catapult business. In many instances it has, but in doing so, opened up a world of challenges.

Securing the enterprise has become the foremost obstacle for enterprises using a BYOD platform, and explains why the transformation hasn’t become a mainstay eight years later.

“There’s a host of challenges, and it’s why BYOD hasn’t taken over the planet like people thought,” Nick McQuire, Vice President of Research at CCS Insight, told Enterprise Mobility Exchange. “There are a set of different elements that make BYOD complicated. It was initially thought of as a cost saver, but there needs to be other drivers for doing it. [Enterprises] need to be careful about how you open the door to different device models and operating systems.”

From the variations of different operating systems to the sheer number of devices, the BYOD issue is complex to comprehend, and a mind-boggling web of potential vulnerabilities to the IT department. An OpenSignal report showed by the end of 2015 there were more than 24,000 Android devices on the market alone. That figure obviously doesn’t include Apple, Windows, or BlackBerry products – all of which have their own prominent stake in the BYOD market.

To that end, according to Crowd Research Partners, 20% of businesses that suffered a data breach in 2016 came through a mobile device, and 39% of BYO and COPE devices downloaded malware last year.

“IT likes standardization. If the mobile ecosystem was less complicated, there would be less challenges,” McQuire said. “A more formalized approach would lead to more maturity, but that hasn’t happened.”

As a result of that immaturity, MDM, MAM and the rest of the mobile world’s bolt-on offerings are also young, constantly needing to evolve as hardware and operating systems transform on a semi-annual basis. The horse is out of the stable, though, McQuire joked, as businesses continue to sprint toward a finish line, albeit without a jockey while pursuing an unclear direction.

“Mobile has nowhere near hit its potential,” McQuire said. “In fact, it’s fallen below the mark in recent years. Employees are in the driver seat; the pendulum has swung that way, but will it swing back? Are employees going to continue to stay ahead of IT, and create more shadow IT? It’s really up to the c-suite to take ownership of employee productivity.”

Mobile security is the topic of Enterprise Mobility Exchange’s upcoming Security West event in Phoenix, Arizona, where 40 CIOs, CISOs, VPs, Heads and Directors of IT will gather for an intense two-day strategy meeting with speakers and networking opportunities with solution providers.

Security West will feature opening keynote speaker Nick Savage, Assistant Acting Special Agent in Charge of Cybersecurity for the FBI, as well as Jamal Hartenstein, Data Privacy and Cyber Security attorney. Savage will take a look at defending the attack surface, establishing an effective defense and implementing an information assurance framework to secure the enterprise’s endpoints. The legal aspect of a breach will be tackled, as Hartenstein addresses who’s liable when it comes to security issues.

Virginia Tech University CISO Randy Marchany will address securing the entire mobile world, as well as join a panel on the topic of BYOD in the enterprise. Derek Wheeler, the Assistant Director of Cybersecurity for the State of Maryland will also speak on how to secure tens of thousands of mobile devices across his public enterprise.

To learn more about the Exchange format and how it works, visit the Security West Coast site here.

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