Technology

Mobile Analysts: Expect BYOD Regulations to Tighten

By / Jan 17, 2013 (iStockphoto/Thinkstock)

Mobile industry analysts say BYOD, or bring your own device, regulations are expected to increase in 2013, due to cybersecurity concerns.

During the coming year, many companies will be faced with pulling off a balancing act between protecting company data and ensuring BYOD users’ privacy isn’t trampled.

Could security concerns  put one of the IT world’s biggest trends in danger?

According to IDG Research Services, 85 percent of organizations allow employees to bring their own devices to work. Tablet sales have grown from 821 million to 1.2 billion by the end of 2012. There are 1 billion smartphone users in the world out of 5 billion mobile users. However, both IT professionals and employees recognize the security concerns behind BYOD, or bring your own device, policies.

According to mobile industry analysts, companies will impose tighter security constraints for mobile devices to lessen cybersecurity concerns. What can BYOD participants expect? Less control and certainly less privacy.

The problem: The biggest concern when it comes to BYOD is the data that comes in and out of these devices. Seventy-one percent of BYOD employees access corporate networks, putting company data at risk. Organizations may find it difficult to control internal data on devices that they don’t own.

A catch-22: As Ernie Smith wrote back in November, BYOD requires giving up some control over network security, putting more freedom in the hands of users. But 2013 might become the year where some of that freedom is rolled back. “During the coming year, many companies will be faced with pulling off a balancing act between protecting company data and ensuring BYOD users’ privacy isn’t trampled,” predicts USA Today‘s Byron Acohido.

A solution… maybe? Some businesses believe mobile device management is the answer to all their BYOD problems. It allows IT departments to ensure security of corporate data that may sneak onto employee mobile devices. However, only 22 percent of organizations are using (or considering to use) MDM.

One thing is for sure: BYOD is inevitable, and employees know it. Do you think 2013 be the year where regulatory concerns catch up? How has your association approached BYOD? Let us know in the comments.

Anita Ferrer

Anita Ferrer is a contributor to Associations Now. More »

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