Users don’t trust IT to protect BYOD data

IT often thinks users aren’t doing enough to keep data secure. But a recent BYOD survey says many users think the same about IT. 

Regardless of whether or not their company has an official BYOD program, many users are bringing in personal devices and not telling IT, according to a recent survey from Aruba Networks.

Among US users surveyed, 17% were using a personal device but have not told their company’s IT department. Even if a device containing company data had been lost or otherwise compromised, 11% said they would not report it to IT.

That shouldn’t really be a surprise to IT managers — in most companies, users started bringing devices on their own, and then the organization tried to catch up by instating a formal BYOD policy.

But the survey does highlight one of the main reasons users try to keep their personal devices a secret: They don’t trust IT with their personal data.

Close to half of employees in the US (45%) said they’re worried about their company’s IT staff having access to their information. In addition, 46% said they would feel “violated” if they found out IT had looked at their personal data.

And even when it comes to protecting work-related information, users don’t trust IT. More than half (51%) say the department hasn’t take any steps to protect that data.

Improve communication about BYOD

Of course, to manage BYOD IT must be aware of what devices are being used. Failing to do so could leave the company open to a lot of security risk.

To help allay users’ concerns, many IT departments could get better at communicating the details of the BYOD policy and program. The rules should include strict restrictions about accessing an employee’s personal information, and users need to know what steps are being taken to keep IT staff from seeing that data accidentally.

Also, users should be aware of what controls are being put in place — for example, if a mobile device management (MDM) application is being used, users should know what that software does.