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SANS Survey: BYOD Widespread But Lacking Sufficient Oversight

BlackBerry is still the No. 1 supported mobile device in organizations
Most organizations allow bring-your-own mobile devices for their employees, but close to half of these enterprises don't have a complete picture of what mobile devices their users are carrying.

Even more troubling: More than half either don't or "sort of" have BYOD policies, according to SANS' First Annual Survey on Mobility Security, which was sponsored by Bradford Networks, MobileIron, and HP Enterprise Security Products. The survey polled some 500 IT professionals to gauge the type and depth of mobile-device usage that organizations are allowing their employees to use for work, and how they manage them security-wise.

SANS will reveal the full findings in a Webcast on April 12.

Just less than 10 percent say they are "fully aware" of the mobile devices in their network.

"More than 60 percent of organizations today allow staff to bring their own devices," said Kevin Johnson, SANS senior instructor and author of the survey report. "With this type of permissiveness, policies and controls are even more important to help secure our environments."

But organizations aren't keeping up policy- and security-wise with allowing users to bring their own iPads, smartphones, or other devices, the survey found. Some 17 percent say they have stand-alone BYOD security and usage policies; 24 percent say they have these policies added to their existing policies; 26 percent say they "sort of" have policies; 3 percent don't know; and 31 percent say they do not have any BYOD policies.

BlackBerry may be floundering in the consumer space, but it's still the most supported mobile device in businesses, with nearly 75 percent of the respondents saying they support BlackBerry, followed by iPhone (68 percent), iPad (63 percent), and Android (53 percent).

Not surprisingly, they worry most about Android, which they consider the riskiest to support, the survey shows.

More than half say employee education is one way they secure the devices, and 73 percent include user education with other security policies. Among the topics covered in their policies are authentication (around 70 percent), acceptable usage/employee education (around 65 percent), email accounts (more than 60 percent), and configuration (less than 60 percent). Stored data and malware protection were included in about half of the organizations' policies, and application policies were in just more than 40 percent of the cases.

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