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4 dark reading MUSTReads survey (registration required) showed that, for a significant chunk of the workforce, mobile technologies are no longer just a beneficial supplemen- tal computing technology but actually the primary means of getting business done. According to respondents, one- third of employees exclusively use mo- bile devices to do their work, and that is expected to rise to nearly half of em- ployees over the next year. Meanwhile, 61% of respondents report that mobile devices have increased employee pro- ductivity at their organizations. However, most businesses are see- ing these productivity gains offset by a growing mobile risk profile. Approx- imately 52% of respondents reported that security practices on mobile de- vices have been sacrificed in order to im- prove employee productivity. The survey showed that 30% of organizations still have absolutely no security features in place to support mobility, and 74% of respondents say their security is inade- quate to mitigate mobile threats. "Most enterprises are finding work- force productivity high with BYOD, and they can see significant tangible benefits by having workers connected with their device," says Ashok Sankar, senior direc- tor of product management and strat- egy at Raytheon Cyber Products. "But security is being compromised in favor of productivity." As the business benefits continue to rise, so does the proliferation of devices. The study found that the typical orga- nization manages an average of 20,000 devices, with that number expected to rise to 28,000 in 12 months. In fact, 18% of organizations report that, within a year, they may need to manage more than 75,000 devices. This can only serve to put more pressure on security organizations; respondents reported it takes an average of $278 to manage devices securely. Organizations identified malware in- fection and end-user negligence as two of the biggest mobile risks. Of particular concern was the fact that employee be- havior has grown increasingly lackadai- sical about security as mobile flexibility increases. Approximately 60% of respon- dents believe mobile devices have dimin- ished employees' security habits. In addition to improving security tech- nology investments around mobility, orga- nizations may need to put more onus on employees to improve their behavior. "There's always been a one-sided con- versation between IT and employees, with IT providing laptops or desktops and a specific image of the device and that was it," Sankar says. "The newer paradigm has to be a two-way conversation. Peo- ple want to use what they want, which is fine. But maybe there's a responsibility factor associated with the mobile user than they had originally. So with flexibility comes responsibility."p

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