Younger workers say BYOD is a right, not a privilege

Here’s another sign companies will have to adapt to IT consumerization and support BYOD programs whether they want to or not: Younger employees entering the workforce might decide not to take a job in which they can’t use their own personal devices. 

More than half (55%) of Generation Y employees feel that using a personal device for work is a right, rather than a privilege, according to a recent survey conducted by security firm Fortinet.

Most (74%) of the 3,800 professionals in their twenties polled already use a personal device at work. And apparently, they would do so regardless of whether or not their employer supported a bring your own device (BYOD) program — 36% said they would try to get around an IT policy that forbade them from using a personal device for work.

As IT pros know, that’s likely to cause data security issues, especially as 66% of respondents believe they — and not the company — are responsible for the security of the smartphones and other personal devices they use for work.

That means even when BYOD is allowed, many younger employees still admitted they would ignore policies regulating the use of those devices. For example, 30% said they would go around a policy against using non-approved applications.

That’s despite the fact that nearly half (42%) of respondents acknowledged that personal devices increase the risk of data loss and IT security threats.

The lesson for IT is two-fold. First, it’s becoming impossible to resist the IT consumerization trend, and demand for BYOD programs will only get stronger as more young professionals enter the workforce.

Second, the results of the survey show that IT consumerization and BYOD policies may not be enough to curb the security risks that are increased when employees work on personal devices. IT departments should investigate mobile device management software and other tools that help them enforce the rules and make sure company data is kept secure on employees’ personal devices.

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