IT departments still cautious about personal mobile devices

But the benefits are too strong to ignore, Good Technology claims

Despite the growing number of employees using personal mobile devices to connect to the corporate network, IT departments are still resisting the change because of security concerns, a survey has found.

The survey of IT directors from 100 large UK businesses, carried out by researchers Vanson Bourne for enterprise mobility solutions provider Good Technology, found that 62% of respondents were worried about the security around the use of mobile phones in the work place. This is despite on average 56% of employees being provided with mobile devices, with almost a quarter of respondents supplying employees with tablets, such as the Apple iPad.

Users are going to IT departments saying make my iPhone, iPad, Android [or whatever] device work. But we saw a resistance, said Andy Jacques, general manager EMEA for Good Technology.

Although half of the IT directors said they did not support personal mobile devices brought into the office by employees, 56% said they felt under pressure to do so. The top reason cited for the resistance was security concerns (36%), followed by lack of control over the device (32%).

Furthermore, the main security issues highlighted included the theft or loss of mobile devices and the data stored on them(62%), and the introduction of malware into the company network (50%).

However, 10% of respondents said that if security was not an issue, they would be open to employees using their personal mobile devices for corporate use.

Jacques said that 27% of respondents had reported already having had an unauthorised security breach from a mobile device coming into the enterprise. Although some of these breaches were simply unauthorised mobile devices connecting to the network, for example.

There is a real shift from the corporate standard to a much more fragmented estate.

While the consumerisation of IT can create some level of threat, it also opens up opportunities for increasing productivity and increasing the number of mobile workers at a low cost. Embrace it and enable it in a secure fashion, said Jacques.

Deutsche Bank recently revealed that using Good Technology's secure email application, it found that a two-month trial of the iPhone gave the firm a better experience of accessing corporate email than the Blackberry.

This story, "IT departments still cautious about personal mobile devices" was originally published by Computerworld UK.

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