Fortinet releases global BYOD survey results

64% of respondents in UAE are already bringing their own device to work

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Fortinet releases global BYOD survey results Fortinet's BYOD survey has revealed an increasing number of BYOD users.
By  Georgina Enzer Published  June 24, 2012

Network security provider Fortinet has conducted a global survey that reveals the extent of the challenge posed to corporate IT systems by first generation Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) users.

Over 3,800 active employees in their twenties in 15 territories took part in the survey and their answers confirmed that  BYOD is a mainstream activity. Seventy-four percent of respondents across all territories are already bringing their own devices to work, 64% of those respondents were in the UAE. Fifty-five percent of total respondents and 56% in the UAE, view using their device at work as a right rather than a privilege and more than 1-in-3 employees would contravene a company's security policy that forbids them to use their personal devices at work or for work purposes.

Forty-two per cent of the survey sample believed that potential data loss and exposure to malicious IT threats to be the dominant risk. In the UAE, there is even slightly greater awareness with 44% of respondents acknowledging the risks in potential data loss and exposure to malicious IT threats. This risk awareness does not prevent those workers from bypassing corporate policies, with 36% of respondents admitting they have or would contravene a corporate policy banning the use of personally-owned devices for work purposes. It is 30% for UAE respondents. Of the 15 countries surveyed, the figure is highest in India where 66% admitted they have or would contravene policy.

From a user perspective, the primary driver of the BYOD practice is that individuals can constantly access their preferred applications, especially social media and private communications. The dependence on personal communications is strong with 35% of respondents admitting they could not go a day without accessing social networks, and 47% unable to last a day without SMS. In the UAE, however, only 19% of respondents said that they could not last a day without accessing social networks, while 34% admitted they could not endure a day without SMS.

Thirty percent of all respondents admitted they have or would utilise banned or non-approved applications at work. The risk to organisations from non-approved applications looks set to grow. Sixty-nine percent of respondents confirmed they are interested in Bring Your Own Application (BYOA) - where users create and use their own custom applications at work.

Sixty-six percent of respondents consider themselves - not the company - to be responsible for the security of the personal devices they use for work purposes. This is three times the number of respondents who believe responsibility ultimately rests with their employer at 22%. An even higher percentage of respondents in the UAE - 72% - believe that they are ultimately responsible for the security of their own personal device when used for work purposes, compared to 15% who believe that it is the responsibility of the organisation.

"The survey clearly reveals the great challenge faced by organisations to reconcile security and BYOD," said Bashar Bashaireh, regional director, Fortinet Middle East. "While users want and expect to use their own devices for work, mostly for personal convenience, they do not want to hand over responsibility for security on their own devices to the organisation. Within such an environment, organisations must regain control of their IT infrastructure by strongly securing both inbound and outbound access to the corporate network and not just implement mobile device management or MDM. Organisations cannot rely on a single technology to address the security challenges of BYOD. The most effective network security strategy requires granular control over users and applications, not just devices."

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