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Mobility compromising security in UAE, survey shows

Almost half of all IT professionals say they have ignored security policies in favour of mobility

Mobility compromising security in UAE, survey shows
Many IT professionals report ignoring mobile security policies in favour of helping employees be more productive.

IT decision makers in the UAE are putting productivity before security, according to a survey conducted on behalf of VMware.

Almost half of all IT professionals (49%) said that pressure from top management and the demands of mobile workers has led to them overriding security policies and sharing data with mobile devices, despite regarding this as a risk.

The survey found that nearly two-thirds of respondents (63%) believed that the benefits of a mobile business outweigh any potential security issues.

Eighty-one percent of respondents state it is their employees who are pushing for more mobility, and 44% believe a lack of mobile working is holding back their productivity.

This pressure to mobile enable staff is resulting in security being ignored, with 40% of employees reporting that they frequently override their organisation's mobile policies in order to be more productive in the way they work. Critically, two thirds (66%) of IT leaders said C-Level executives are putting pressure on them to access corporate data from their own mobile devices, even when this access goes against corporate policies. Granting this access is at the heart of the issue - 61% are concerned there is a perceived security risk in letting employees work off their own devices, with 54% saying it is the greatest vulnerability for a cyber attack.

"Simply put, there can be no digital transformation without mobility. That means organisations are under increasing pressure to drive their businesses forward and innovate and are taking short-term risks in security in order to make staff and operations as agile as possible," commented Ian Evans, vice president End User Computing EMEA & Managing Director, AirWatch EMEA at VMware. "The great news is that there doesn't have to be a compromise between mobility or security, but it's about the power of ‘and'. With a software-defined architecture, security can be built into the application, inside the network, at the user and content level. This means organisations can adopt the secure digital workspace, letting users access the data they need, according to their role, on any device, so businesses can be as mobile as they like without compromising on security."

Employees themselves admit they aren't as stringent at protecting organisational data on their corporate devices as they are the data on their personal ones. A third said they take greater care of securing data on their own device than the information on their corporate one. When it came to mobile working, less than half of employees are aware of all the mobile policies their organisation has in place, so they don't even know if they could be in breach of them.

"IT departments need to be looking for solutions that mean they don't have to walk this fine line or risk the security of their data," added Evans. "With our mobile management technologies, VMware gives employees the ability to access the corporate data needed to do their jobs - from any device, while the IT team has a full oversight and control of which employees have access to which applications, meaning they no longer need to compromise on enabling true business mobility."

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