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AdaptiveMobile has revealed that privacy from employers is the top concern for employees being asked to use their own devices for work purposes, according to a recent survey conducted by Ovum on behalf of AdaptiveMobile.

The research found that while over 84 percent of employees rated privacy as a top three concern, there was a clear lack of trust in the ability of their employer to manage their mobile security and privacy, posing mobile service providers with an opportunity to address end-users security concerns.

 

For those employees already using their own device for work purposes, trust in their employer managing their device was the major concern. While just 30 percent of respondents preferred their employer to manage their corporate mobility service, trust levels in their mobile operator were higher with 42 percent of people happier if their device at work was managed by their operator.

Among employees who do not use their own devices for work purposes, the desire to keep their work and personal life separate (44 percent) and a general mistrust of their employer having any kind of control over their devices (24 percent) were the biggest barriers.

“Trust is the magic word when it comes to empowering employees to use their own devices in the workplace. The mobile device is such an inherently personal part of our lives that people want to know that their details are safe. Where the IT department may be stigmatised in the eyes of employees, they see the mobile operator as the trusted service provider. The opportunity for businesses therefore is to benefit from the reflected trust by deploying a managed mobile security solution and so instill the confidence in the service that their employees demand,” said Ciaran Bradley, Chief Product Officer, AdaptiveMobile.

“Particularly for the underserved but significant SME market that find current mobile security offerings too complex to deploy, too expensive to integrate and too time-consuming to manage, these issues can be addressed by a comprehensive security-as-a-service offering, that is easy to implement and use,” said Ciaran Bradley.

Closely linked to end user privacy, the survey of over 5,000 employees from 19 countries worldwide also uncovered that the security of end users’ data is central to the uptake of corporate mobility services. Respondents noted that in addition to privacy, the next two most important aspects of a corporate service allowing them to use their own devices at work were avoiding malicious websites (67.2%) and avoiding malicious apps (57.2).

Bill shock, mobile data usage, inadvertent access to malicious websites and malicious apps are all listed as other factors inhibiting the adoption of corporate mobility services. “Employee concerns over security and privacy are consistent across all operating systems – and with mobility meaning IT departments are confronted with a multitude of platforms to secure, the opportunity for operators is to provide a mobile network level security solution that gives the IT department the control they need,” continued Ciaran Bradley.

Part of Ovum’s latest Employee Mobility Survey, the research revealed the rate of BYOD behavior (defined as employees accessing corporate data on a personally owned smartphone or tablet – whether their employer knows about it or allows it or not) is up from 56.8% in 2013 to 69.2% in 2014. The research was in-line with previous years, demonstrating that high-growth markets exhibit the highest rates of BYOD with China, India and South Korea close to 100%.

“It’s clear that BYOD is not a newly discussed phenomenon, but our research over the last three years indicates that as a behavioral trend it is actually increasing and having an impact in every organisation”, said Richard Absalom, Senior Analyst, Enterprise Mobility at Ovum. “Businesses everywhere need to find ways of balancing corporate security demands with employees’ privacy concerns when using personal devices for work.”

The research also revealed how operators in mature markets may see a bigger opportunity to capitalise on increasing adoption of corporate mobility services.

The Ovum Employee Mobility Survey was conducted in July 2014 and surveyed 5,187 employees in organisations globally.

 

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