Two thirds of companies are concerned about the security implications of the rise in the number of personal computing devices used by employees at work.
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More than half of those who voiced concerns in a poll of 750 IT professionals, said their organisations lacked the tools needed to manage personal devices effectively.
Despite the concerns, the survey revealed 87% of respondents worked in organisations where employees are using personal laptops, smartphones and tablet computers at work.
Patrick Graf, director at IT security firm NCP engineering, said businesses need to take action now to protect corporate and personal data, or face the potentially damaging consequences of today's consumerisation of IT. "The consumerisation of IT is having a major impact on the workplace and in particular, data security and these results reflect this perfectly," he said.
Diane Hagglund, senior research analyst at Dimensional Research, said most companies do not have a proper strategy in place to manage these devices. "This opens them up to serious security risks, especially in the small and medium business market, so it is critical that companies put policies and standards into place to support these devices, and ensure the security of corporate and intellectual property," Hagglund said.
Graf said businesses are failing to recognise consumerisation of IT as a potential threat in the workplace. "This is a very naïve approach and firms, including SMBs, need to ensure that employees using their personal devices at work are connecting to networks securely, especially with more and more services being placed in the cloud," he said.
Business consultancy Deloitte made the prediction that companies will increasingly allow their workers to choose their own devices to link to the corporate network, as part of its report on trends in technology for 2010.
Deloitte said at the time that the trend is happening at corporations of all sizes and marks a major shift in IT procurement policy.
In September 2008, Citrix introduced a scheme called buy your own computer (BYOC), initially available to 10% of its total workforce of over 5,000. The scheme, under which the company pays for the device the worker chooses, is now available to all staff and has been taken up by 20% of the company's staff worldwide.
Systems management appliance firm Dell Kace conducted the poll of 750 IT professionals