European firms allow BYOD despite security concerns

Apple is the personal mobile device of choice, followed by Samsung

Despite security concerns, more than two-thirds of enterprises in Europe allow their staff to use their own devices for work, according to research.

Network access systems firm Aruba questioned almost 800 IT and networking professionals across the EMEA region and found that 69 percent of organisations allow some form of BYOD (bring your own device), whether that is limited to internet connectivity or includes some access to corporate applications on employee-owned devices.

However, said Aruba, just 22 percent of organisations polled have more than a quarter of their employees bringing their own devices, suggesting that there is still a long way to go before the potential of BYOD is fully realised. The benefits of BYOD are usually measured in terms of lower equipment costs and increased remote and flexible working, potentially leading to greater productivity.

Apple was the smartphone and tablet manufacturer of preference for 88 percent and 86 percent of respondents respectively. Samsung was not far behind with 67 percent and 51 percent respectively for smartphones and tablets.

Chris Kozup, senior director for EMEA marketing at Aruba, said: "If enterprises are to truly embrace BYOD, an increased demand for mobile diversity must be addressed in the way that corporate networks are designed and managed. Organisations must implement infrastructures that are capable of supporting a broad array of mobile devices, without overburdening their IT staff."

A third of respondents said their organisations still ban employees from connecting their own devices to corporate networks. As with many emerging trends, security is at the heart of this, with 70 percent of organisations saying that ensuring a secure connection is the main barrier to full adoption of BYOD. Another 45 percent said they are held back by how to enforce access rights based on user, device and application type.

Earlier this month a Cisco study showed the vast majority of US firms are now adopting BYOD schemes ( Cisco surveyed 600 IT and business leaders and found that 95 percent of respondents said their organisations permitted employee-owned devices in the workplace.

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