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How Surge in Remote Work Led to Rise of BYODs and Security Risks

A 2021 BYOD Security Report revealed that cybersecurity professionals continue to lack visibility and technology needed to secure unmanaged personal devices against evolving threats.

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The sudden surge in remote work due to the pandemic has encouraged organizations globally to embrace Bring Your Own Devices (BYODs) in the workplace. The use of personal devices for work also resulted in a significant increase in security and privacy risks, making it hard for organizations to handle evolving threats.

A recent survey from Bitglass revealed insights on the state of securing mobility, the technology choices organizations are making, and their response to the growing security risks associated with remote work and enterprise mobility. The survey “2021 BYOD Security Report” revealed that security professionals continue to lack the visibility and technology needed to secure unmanaged personal devices against modern threats.

Key Findings

  • Overall, 82% of organizations actively enable BYOD to at least some extent. BYOD is typically associated with company employees bringing unmanaged devices into the workplace (70%), but also applies to other groups like contractors (26%), partners (21%), customers (18%), and suppliers (14%).
  • The main barriers to BYOD adoption are the concern about information security (30%), employee privacy concerns (15%), and support cost concerns (9%). Regardless of the specific barrier, the fact is that organizations need to think differently when it comes to securing BYOD.
  • While 22% of organizations confirmed that unmanaged devices accessing corporate resources downloaded malware in the last 12 months, an alarming 49% were unsure or unable to disclose whether the same could be said of them. This lack of visibility can prove fatal.

Security Concerns Associated with BYODs

Over 47% of organizations reported an increase in the use of BYOD. This trend will challenge the use of security measures designed for managed endpoints. In addition, security professionals continue to report a variety of security concerns over BYOD such as data leakage or loss (62%), users downloading unsafe apps or content (54%), lost or stolen devices (53%), and unauthorized access to company data and systems (51%). While 22% of organizations surveyed can confirm that unmanaged devices accessing corporate resources have been used to download malware in the last 12 months, an alarming 49% were unsure or unable to disclose whether the same could be said of them.

BYOD – A Growing Risk Factor

As modern enterprises incorporate more BYODs, shadow IoT devices will become an ever-growing risk factor to enterprise network security. A similar research“What’s Lurking in the Shadows 2020” revealed that 80% of IT professionals discovered shadow IoT devices connected to their company’s network. 9 in 10 security leaders (89%) were worried about shadow IoT devices connected to remote or branch locations of their businesses. Shadow IoT devices are internet-connected devices or sensors used inside an organization without the knowledge of the IT team in a company.