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‘Bring your own device’ trend puts SMBs in cyber danger

Security experts are warning businesses against the current trend of employee BYOD or ‘Bring Your Own Device’ to work, as it leaves them exposed to malware attacks and other cyber crime.

According to AVG, the ‘consumerisation of IT’ trend means more staff bring their own mobile devices to work and use them for business purposes. This puts companies of all sizes at risk, with AVG suggesting they should be re-evaluating how they protect business-critical data and manage IT equipment use.

One of the major factors in this area is the rapid rise in popularity of the tablet PC, which is catching the comparatively slower moving business IT world off guard.

AVG warns that businesses aren’t enacting policies governing how employees use tablets and smartphones. Workers bring these devices into the workplace and connect them to the company’s Wi-Fi network, which provides them with access to the Internet and also allows them to synchronise their devices with company computers. The concern is that this is happening without additional layers of security being put in place to lessen their impact.

“With tablet PCs and smartphones now starting to populate SMB offices and operations, we need to question whether workers are now replacing management and IT managers as the true IT decision makers,” AVG Security Evangelist Lloyd Borrett said.

Research by the Ponemon Institute on behalf of AVG uncovered a number of telling indicators for the way IT is being managed. It found less than half (43 percent) of consumers surveyed considered security features to be important when deciding which smartphone to purchase. Only 19 percent have passwords and just 10 percent have both keypad locks and passwords.

AVG suggests businesses use an IT security solution that includes anti-virus protection, such as AVG Mobilation for Android smartphone and tablets.

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Lorna Brett

Lorna Brett

Lorna was Dynamic Business’ Social Web Editor in 2011/12. She’s a social media obsessed journalist, who has a passion for small business. Outside the 9 to 5, you’re likely to find her trawling the web for online bargains, perfecting her amateur photography skills or enjoying one too many cappucinos. You can follow her on <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/dynamicbusiness">Twitter @DynamicBusiness</a>

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