Despite Gartner’s view that the rise of BYOD is the single most radical shift in the economics of client computing for organisations since PCs invaded the workplace, a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from Acronis has revealed that nine out of ten (87%) public sector organisations have no formal BYOD strategy. In addition, only a third (31%) have plans to review this situation in 2013.
The study also reveals that local authorities and councils are slightly further ahead than central Government in their planning to support an increasing demand from staff to connect smartphones and tablets to the network.
The FOIA request looked into attitudes towards BYOD across 48 local and central Government organisations, with 41 responding to the request. Other key findings include:
Between 2011 and 2012 almost a quarter of public sector organisations studied detected unauthorised devices attached to the network – 22% of local authorities and 29% of central Government departments.
Over a quarter of local authorities have no instant or fast way of detecting whether an unauthorised device has been connected.
33% of local authorities have current plans to review the case for a BYOD strategy, compared to only 25% of central Government departments.
Alan Laing, VP EMEA, Acronis, comments: “The growth of big data, the drive for greater collaboration and the rise in mobile working have introduced new and often personal devices, to public sector IT networks. Confidential content is regularly leaving the network on iPads, smartphones or via the public Cloud.
“The need to control confidential information and the ability to demonstrate an adequate protection policy is paramount. But the rise of BYOD, the use of corporate file sharing outside the firewall and the management of hybrid environments is no longer just an IT management headache, it’s a serious regulatory issue particularly for the public sector.”
“No public sector organisation can afford to turn a blind eye. They need to review the current practices they have in place for managing and protecting traditional devices and then look to extend these to protect employee mobile devices. This is the only way to guarantee the safety of public sector data.”