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Singapore SMEs need to implement BYOD security policies: SolarWinds

Nurdianah Md Nur | Oct. 7, 2013
Even though most IT admins are aware of the security issues that BYOD brings to the company, not many have put in place measures to prevent them.

The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend is causing an increasing need for IT admins to implement necessary policies to deal with the additional security issues associated with the trend. This finding is part of SolarWinds' latest study which polled 150 IT decision makers from small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Singapore to gauge how BYOD is impacting them.

According to the study, over 70 percent of the IT admins surveyed agreed that mobile devices pose the biggest risk to network security. Sixty-seven percent of them also admitted to heightened concerns because their employees used their own devices instead of company supplied devices for work.

IT admins were mainly concerned about the inability to rapidly identify, quarantine and mitigate threats (35 percent) due to the lack of visibility of corporate devices on the network, and uncooperative employees. Based on the study, common user behaviours that threaten the security of Singapore SMEs include losing their handsets, sharing company files via unsecured apps, not using VPN and instead unsecured Wi-Fi, creating weak passwords, and visiting malware sites.

Despite having security concerns, 47 percent of the IT admins placed the security and safety of mobile devices solely in the hands of their staff. Only 16 percent provided their staff with some assistance in securing their device, such as installing anti-virus or anti-spam programs. The study also found almost a third of those who had implemented a mobile security solution (31 percent) only did so in response to a threat, rather than to mitigate against potential threats.

Sanjay Castelino, VP and market leader, SolarWinds, said: "The survey results demonstrate a real disparity between the recognition of the potential problems posed by BYOD and the level of activity around addressing those issues. Singapore SMEs need to take a more hands-on approach in managing their employees' mobile devices which access their corporate network."

 

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