Phoenix survey reveals full extent of BYOD threat

One of the survey’s key findings highlights UK workers’ widespread use of their own electronic devices for work, posing a potential major threat to business security.

The survey, conducted with workers aged 18 and over, who use IT and electronic devices as part of their day-to-day business, across a wide range of industry sectors, revealed that, while over half (51 per cent) primarily use their own devices, an incredible 59 per cent of those workers have not used their company IT support to setup their devices. This indicates a significant number of devices being used in the UK economy that may not comply with corporate IT policies or have sufficient security measures in place. This is particularly pertinent as cyber attacks are designated as one of the UK’s top national security risks, alongside terrorism.

Statistics from GCHQ show that a third of UK small businesses and 80 per cent of large businesses suffered a cyber attack from someone outside their business last year, illustrating how unsupervised BYOD can significantly increase companies’ exposure to risk.

Alistair Blaxill, managing director of Phoenix’s Partner Business, said, ‘Mobility is one of the most significant driving forces for the IT sector and an increasing number of people want to be fully connected to work all of the time. However, the emergence of BYOD in the workplace is creating a real challenge for IT departments, with workers using their own unmanaged devices to access corporate networks and sensitive data. The findings of our survey underline this trend in the UK and it reinforces the need for businesses to stay on top of how employees access IT and ensure that they are appropriately protected.   

‘We think the best way to achieve this shift is to look at the ways in which IT departments are interacting with workers. Employees’ attitudes to IT support are changing and they want instant, real time solutions to their device issues. Our survey tells us that just 23 per cent and 32 per cent of workers received their IT support either primarily face-to-face or a mix of face-to-face and remotely respectively. Savvy employers are now looking to provide workers with an IT support service that mirrors the personal experience they receive outside of work when resolving issues with their own personal devices.’

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