Almost 60 percent of companies do not have a formal bring your own device (BYOD) policy, which leaves them open to security risks, according to a new study by Acronis

BYOD Policies Missing at 60 Percent of Companies: Acronis Study

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Almost 60 percent of companies do not have a formal bring your own device (BYOD) policy, which leaves them open to security risks, according to a new study by Acronis, conducted in association with Ponemon Institute.

The study, released on Wednesday, includes responses from over 4,300 IT practitioners in 8 countries, and finds that even among companies that do have a personal device policy, 24 percent make exceptions for executives.

Areas found to be commonly lacking include simple policies and employee education. The study’s findings support the results of a GlobalSign study from 2012, which showed over half of IT professionals did not have BYOD security plans.

“BYOD is a huge opportunity for companies, but our research shows troubling signs of negligence in the face of these dangers,” Anders Lofgren, director of Mobility Solutions for Acronis said in a statement. “However, with policies and solutions that manage the flow of data between multiple devices and environments, companies can practice safe BYOD with confidence.”

The study by Acronis focuses on company protection, and finds that in most cases even basic elements of security like password protection for personal devices are left up to the user. Only 31 percent of companies require employees to lock their devices. While this means that many companies can improve the security of their networks by implementing basic policies, there is also a large market for BYOD security to be improved through network structure, software, and employee education.

The hosting provider for a company in need of these security upgrades is uniquely positioned to add this service to those it already provides, either by bundling it with an existing hosting package, or upselling it as an add-on service. Hosting providers may already offer an appropriate security solution, but it could be an opportunity to change the marketing message in order to capture the BYOD audience.

Hosting providers may move to meet this demand by partnering with network access control companies to provide BYOD security packages. Those packages might allow network access monitoring and management, with additional upsell features such as remote device wipes, which the Acronis study shows are performed when an employee leaves the company only 21 percent of the time.

Hosting companies can also provide education for enterprise employees in how their network functions, as Acronis’ study reveals that “corporate files are commonly shared through third-party cloud storage solutions such as Dropbox.”

In April, Dropbox announced Dropbox for Business, formerly Dropbox for Teams, and single sign on access for business users to securely access their files.

While the BYOD trend continues, network management providers like Acronis have developed ways of maintaining enterprise data security between the user’s device and the data centre or cloud.  Despite this, it seems that sensitive data is often left unsecured due to BYOD practices. Web hosts who protect their client’s data from so many risks already may be the ones to bring BYOD security solutions to those clients as well.

Do you have security solutions that address lax BYOD policies? Let us know in a comment.

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