Security and the mobile worker

In our September Mobile Workforce Report, we asked some questions about security issues regarding smartphones and tablets.

Although most mobile workers haven’t had anything happen to their smartphones, 15% have broken or destroyed theirs. 4% have lost their phone and 2.4% had them stolen. Although the numbers are small, that’s still 64 out of every thousand employees that IT has to deal with.

73% of mobile workers said that IT requires security on their smartphone in order to access corporate data and 25% say it’s required for tablets. This data changes slightly if the company pays all or part of the smartphone and tablet costs. In this case, 83% of mobile workers have security for smartphones to access corporate data and 28% on tablets.

This trend of an increase in security when the company pays, continues:

Remote wipe capability:

  • 54% of mobile workers report having remote wipe capability on their smartphone; but 59% if the company pays all or part.
  • 29% report remote wipe on their tablet overall; 32% if the company pays all or part of the cost.
  • Remote wipe is required slightly more in North America on average

Required passcode lock on smartphone or tablet:

  • 76% of mobile workers are required to have a lock on their smartphone; compared to 83% if the company pays.
  • 40% of tablet owners are required to have a lock on average; compared to 44% if the company pays.

So, then a mobile worker uses a workaround:

  • 24% of mobile workers use a workaround (a bypass) to access corporate data; but this only rises to 25% if the company pays for some or all of the smartphone costs.
  • 12% of tablet owners find a workaround, compared to 13% of company-funded tablets
  • Employees that have paid for their own smartphone will use a workaround for a smartphone more (27%) but less for a tablet owners (9%)

Although BYOD gives a sense of ownership, if a company does not pay for some of the cost, the employee is less likely to have security on their device, but they are less compelled to workaround to access corporate data. However, the more benefits that IT and the company can provide a BYOD employee, such as providing negotiated rate plans, then employees will continue being productive with their device of choice.

Leave a Reply