It’s Time for Businesses to get Serious about BYOD
By Greg Jensen on Jun 16, 2014
Klaus Bergius, Director of Technology Marketing EMEA at Oracle
Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is a corporate reality that is already affecting virtually every business operating today. In some ways BYOD is inevitable, with businesses having little choice but to adapt to it. Consumer smartphones, tablets and laptops may eventually end the corporate mandating of employee devices. But currently, there is widespread concern and even denial in enterprises, while embracing BYOD could create new opportunities. This is what the Oracle European BYOD Index Report, based on research carried out in January and February 2014, reveals.
This Index assesses the opinions of Chief Security Officers, Chief Information Security Officers or other personnel responsible for information security at 700 businesses in the Nordics, Germany and Switherland (DCH), Benelux, the UK, France, Italy and Iberia (Portugal and Spain) – across all major industry verticals. It seeks to understand where in the deployment of key BYOD technologies and processes European businesses are and what their opinions are with regards to the future of BYOD.
Barriers to Adoption
The latest research from Oracle suggests that few businesses in Europe have fully warmed to BYOD, with 44 per cent of businesses stating that they dislike BYOD and only allow it in exceptional circumstances. A further 22 per cent have a complete ban on data or information residing on a BYOD device and – perhaps most worrying – 20 per cent have no rules in place at all. Half of organizations are not managing smartphones as part of BYOD, and there seem to be big concerns around security. Device security (45 percent), application security (53 percent) and data security (63 percent) were all listed as areas of concern. Full BYOD Index Report
The Awareness Gap
This issue, however, is not a technological or process one – it is an educational one. For me, the main thing hindering further adoption of BYOD across Europe is a lack of awareness of what exactly it is and what can be done to secure it. Fortunately the technology already exists to cost-effectively deliver secure BYOD. Containerization, or sand-boxing as it is sometimes referred to, illustrates this point perfectly. But in our survey the majority (37 percent) of the IT professionals we asked had never even heard of it, let alone deployed it (only 8 percent reported that they have deployed containerization). Full BYOD Index Report
Device vs. Application Management
Functions such as locking or remote wiping the device content or doing firmware upgrades are the domain of MDM (Mobile Device Management). Managing applications on devices typically is in the MAM (Mobile Application Management) area. But why should we continue to separate them from each other, thus fragmenting the overall solution into small pieces that are addressed by multiple vendors? Why shouldn’t we view MDM and MAM as overlapping areas, and moreover, treat it as ‘just’ an extension of corporate Identity and Access Management, by simply extending this solution to include device and application management features? This is exactly what Oracle Mobile Security Suite does. Full BYOD Index Report
In an attempt to widen this research and find out what the readiness and opinion towards BYOD is in other parts of the world, Oracle is currently preparing a second version which shall cover North America, South America, Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa as well as Asia Pacific countries. And in addition to the aspects of data security, device security and application security, we will also include cloud security as an additional aspect. It will be extremely interesting to compare results, so stay tuned for an update!