Wisegate Report Reveals How CSOs are Enabling Secure BYOD

By Peter Bernstein February 20, 2013

So how are senior IT professionals dealing with the bring your own device (BYOD) phenomenon? As the old saying goes, “Inquiring minds want to know.” 

Well, Austin, TX-based startup, Wisegate, an IT expert community and information service, is out with a new free report, “Peers Share Their Latest Strategies for Enabling Secure BYOD: New Strategies help Balance Corporate Security with Employee-Owned Devices,” that provides some interesting insights on the subject. 

And as the report demonstrates, CSO members from across industries agree that while allowing employees to use their own mobile devices improves job satisfaction and can increase productivity, it also raises serious questions about how to secure these devices when they are no longer completely under IT’s control.

As Bill Burns, Director of IT Security and Networking and Wisegate Member, noted, “The explosion of employee owned devices being used in the enterprise has quickly become a main focus for CSOs.” He added that, “There is a confluence of events taking place: it's quickly becoming more efficient for companies to use third-party cloud applications. And employees demand to be more mobile, bringing their own high-performance devices. The bottom line is there is no single best practice to securing corporate data on these devices — it requires a layered approach, balancing among cost, security, compliance, productivity and corporate culture.”

Views you can use

The report covers the most prevalent concerns of leading CSOs:

  • The theft, loss or leakage of company data
  • Proper storage and transmittal of company data
  • The limitations of managing devices, and how far the organization can or should go toward locking-down devices
  • Malware and spyware aimed at mobile devices
  • How (or even whether) to support a growing number of devices that use a variety of operating systems, applications, firmware and mobile carriers

In the report, Wisegate asked, “What is your position on securing mobile/handheld/tablet devices which your workforce uses (especially 'bring your own device')?”

In comparison between 2011 and 2012, the percentage of members reporting an “only fully managed” approach to securing devices declined by 10 percent, while 15 percent more are using a hybrid approach.  

And while multiple answers were allowed, here are the highlights:

  • We will only allow fully managed and secured devices to utilize corporate services: 2011: 27% 2012: 17%
  • We want to enable our workforce to work in whatever way is effective to them: 2011: 24% 2012: 22%
  • We are moving from a 'device centric' strategy to a 'user centric' strategy and don't think that devices can be fully secured. We focus on securing the sensitive transactions: 2011: 24% 2012: 22%
  • We utilize a hybrid approach with more secured devices getting more access and less secured/managed getting less access: 2011: 20% 2012: 35%

“Consumerization of IT issues are top of mind and Wisegate’s new report is a storehouse of in-the-trenches information from today’s IT security leaders,” said Sara Gates, founder and CEO at Wisegate. “By enforcing strict membership guidelines, which exclude vendors from joining, Wisegate is able to provide members with unmatched access to senior-level IT professionals and quality content.”

The report is available for free downloading, and is filled with useful information. Just a sample is in the graphic below which is food for thought for enterprises consider how to create order out of the chaos BYOD is creating. 

It is anecdotal but is certainly an indicator of market interest. 

Image via Wisegate

There are few topics that are creating as much buzz as that of how to deal with BYOD in enterprises around the world. This is about finding out what your peers are doing and having the ammunition you need to move forward. Getting BYOD under control is not going to be easy since it involves not just managing the devices, but also authentication of the users, and assuring that apps and the networks that are interacted with are trustworthy as well. 

Check out the Wisegate site, you might wish to become a member so you can stay up to date on what the community thinks and is busy considering.

Edited by Braden Becker
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