mobile devicesForty-seven percent of business IT end users and 26% of IT professionals said they had never heard the term BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), according to results of a survey conducted by Harris Interactive for CTIA – The Wireless Association. Yet more than half of users said they engaged in one form of BYOD or another when told the definition. And while employees trust their IT departments to protect and secure these devices, both users (82%) and IT professionals (67%) said end users are primarily responsible to keep personal CE devices secure.

BYOD activity was common among end users and IT professionals across the spectrum of businesses surveyed, though 47% of end users and 42% of IT experts said their companies had no formal BYOD policy.

What types of information or applications are employees accessing most frequently? Email, calendar and scheduling, databases, company apps and directories topped the list of responses.

When it came to security, 83% of end users said their smartphones were very or somewhat secure. That rose to 85% for tablets. IT professionals were a bit less sanguine, though still confident: 68% said they were confident in their smartphone security efforts and 70% believed that to be the case for tablets.

Both end users and IT professionals believe it’s primarily the end user’s responsibility to assure the security of personal electronic devices used for work purposes. “Regardless of a company’s size, both companies with less than 500 (72 percent) or 500 or more employees (62 percent) said it’s the employee’s responsibility [to keep their devices secure],” according to CTIA’s press release.

When it came to protecting personal devices 63% of end users said they had installed or used software updates; 58% passwords and/or PINs; 43% anti-virus programs; 38% location tracking; and 34% an app to remote lock, locate and/or erase data.

When asked what IT departments had done to secure personal devices, 34% said they had installed or used passwords/PINs; 28% anti-virus programs; 26% software updates; 25% restrict downloads; and 22% restrict access to certain employees. Of IT professionals themselves, 46% said they had installed or used passwords/PINs; 38% anti-virus programs; 37% network certificates; 31% VPNs; and 31% restrict access to certain employees.

Though the incidence of BYOD was similar across companies of all sizes, CTIA and Harris found that smaller companies (those with less than 500 employees) were less likely “to take action to protect employees’ mobile devices and less likely to communicate the importance of protective security action to their employees.” Reflective of this, 67% of small company respondents said the benefits of BYOD strongly or somewhat outweigh the risks.

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