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Half of business networks compromised by personal devices

Big companies more likely to experience IT breaches

Last year 51 per cent of the UK’s secure IT networks were breached due to employees using personal devices, according to 500 leading British CIOs. In research carried out by Virgin Media Business, smaller businesses experienced 25 per cent less breaches of security compared to larger organisations.

Office workers are now expecting to use the devices they want at work. In 2012 the consumerisation of IT and BYOD (Bring your own device) has gone from being buzzwords and theories, to everyday matters and issues for CIOs. Security, connectivity and user policies are the three key factors needed to embrace new technology successfully, but this isn’t anything new. With just 20 per cent of big businesses allowing staff to use their own kit in the office, there needs to be a shift in mindset. 

The retail industry predicted a tablet would be sold every second in the run up to Christmas, up 112 per cent from last year, meaning January is likely to see a huge amount of them coming into offices up and down the country. Without clear policies in place to deal with this influx of personal devices, larger businesses may be facing even more security threats as people unwittingly use unsecure devices on secure networks.

Tony Grace, chief operating office at Virgin Media Business, said: “Last year was clearly a bumpy road for companies introducing personal devices at work. That’s natural enough as no-one has so far been able to come up with the magic solution. CIOs shouldn’t see this as a burden and in 2013 they can take the lessons learned and turn these personal devices into business enablers to really help drive the bottom line.

“With sales of tablets expected to have gone through the roof over Christmas, it looks like personal devices in the workplace is here to stay. But with just a fifth of large firms having a BYOD policy, businesses will continue to experience security breaches until connectivity, security and user policies are put in place.”