DALLAS & DUBLIN — September 22, 2014 — AdaptiveMobile (www.adaptivemobile.com), the world leader in mobile security, today uncovered that privacy from employers is the top concern for employees being asked to use their own devices for work purposes, according to a recent survey conducted by Ovum on behalf of AdaptiveMobile.  The research found that while over 84 percent of employees rated privacy as a top three concern, there was a clear lack of trust in the ability of their employer to manage their mobile security and privacy, posing mobile service providers with an opportunity to address end-users security concerns.

For those employees already using their own device for work purposes, trust in their employer managing their device was the major concern.  While just 30 percent of respondents preferred their employer to manage their corporate mobility service, trust levels in their mobile operator were higher with 42 percent of people happier if their device at work was managed by their operator.

Among employees who do not use their own devices for work purposes, the desire to keep their work and personal life separate (44 percent) and a general mistrust of their employer having any kind of control over their devices (24 percent) were the biggest barriers. 

“Trust is the magic word when it comes to empowering employees to use their own devices in the workplace.  The mobile device is such an inherently personal part of our lives that people want to know that their details are safe. Where the IT department may be stigmatised in the eyes of employees, they see the mobile operator as the trusted service provider.  The opportunity for businesses therefore is to benefit from the reflected trust by deploying a managed mobile security solution and so instill the confidence in the service that their employees demand,” said Ciaran Bradley, Chief Product Officer, AdaptiveMobile.

“Particularly for the underserved but significant SME market that find current mobile security offerings too complex to deploy, too expensive to integrate and too time-consuming to manage, these issues can be addressed by a comprehensive security-as-a-service offering, that is easy to implement and use,” said Ciaran Bradley.
Closely linked to end user privacy, the survey of over 5,000 employees from 19 countries worldwide also uncovered that the security of end users’ data is central to the uptake of corporate mobility services. Respondents noted that in addition to privacy, the next two most important aspects of a corporate service allowing them to use their own devices at work were avoiding malicious websites (67.2%) and avoiding malicious apps (57.2).

Bill shock, mobile data usage, inadvertent access to malicious websites and malicious apps are all listed as other factors inhibiting the adoption of corporate mobility services. “Employee concerns over security and privacy are consistent across all operating systems – and with mobility meaning IT departments are confronted with a multitude of platforms to secure, the opportunity for operators is to provide a mobile network level security solution that gives the IT department the control they need,” continued Ciaran Bradley.

Part of Ovum’s latest Employee Mobility Survey, the research revealed the rate of BYOD behavior (defined as employees accessing corporate data on a personally owned smartphone or tablet – whether their employer knows about it or allows it or not) is up from 56.8% in 2013 to 69.2% in 2014. The research was in-line with previous years, demonstrating that high-growth markets exhibit the highest rates of BYOD with China, India and South Korea close to 100%.

“It’s clear that BYOD is not a newly discussed phenomenon, but our research over the last three years indicates that as a behavioral trend it is actually increasing and having an impact in every organisation”, said Richard Absalom, Senior Analyst, Enterprise Mobility at Ovum. “Businesses everywhere need to find ways of balancing corporate security demands with employees’ privacy concerns when using personal devices for work.”

The research also revealed how operators in mature markets may see a bigger opportunity to capitalise on increasing adoption of corporate mobility services.
The Ovum Employee Mobility Survey was conducted in July 2014 and surveyed 5,187 employees in organisations globally.

Additional Quotes

“Whilst it will come as no surprise to find data security is a priority with enterprise IT managers, device security is also of huge importance to employees with 67.2% of respondents who take advantage of enterprise mobility via BYOD saying avoiding inadvertent access to malicious websites is a top three consideration. Increasing levels of awareness among employees is likely to have come about as a result of rising familiarity with security incidents personally, anecdotally and via stories in the media. Smartphone penetration is rising globally and unfortunately so too are threats to security.”

“Privacy is the single most important aspect of a corporate service that enables enterprise mobility with 84.4% of survey respondents who BYOD rating it a top three concern. You might expect the younger generation of digital natives to be less concerned with privacy since they live out much of their private lives on social media, but the desire for privacy is common across all age groups. Employees have a heightened sense of awareness that they are being watched since the media has helped shine a light on how much personal data large web services firms and governments are able to obtain. Knowing that an employer could potentially view smartphone activity or wipe or shut down a service is an enterprise mobility inhibitor.”

“Another interesting aspect is the debate surrounding home/life balance- 49% of respondents stated that having the ability to access company email and other business applications outside official working hours are an imposition on their time. However, despite this employees still want flexible working practises as 48% of people would like to use their own device for work, if their employer did not provide them with one. This shows that end-users are struggling to balance the emerging conflict between wanting flexible working practises yet also desiring a good home/life balance. Winning the trust and confidence of employees is therefore crucial to any mobility policy.”

“It is clear that we are in the middle of a perfect storm, where the requirements for security, cost control and privacy are colliding – for both the enterprise and employee alike. Mobile operators are uniquely positioned to deliver the balancing act between user impact, complexity and cost, and deliver services for the enterprise that achieve Protection without compromising privacy and cost control without compromising employee efficiency”

About AdaptiveMobile:
AdaptiveMobile is the world leader in mobile security protecting over one billion subscribers worldwide and the only mobile security company offering products designed to protect all services on both fixed and mobile networks through in-network and cloud solutions. With deep expertise and a unique focus on network-to-handset security, AdaptiveMobile’s award winning security solutions provide its customers with advanced threat detection and actionable intelligence, combined with the most comprehensive mobile security products available on the market today. AdaptiveMobile’s sophisticated, revenue-generating security-as-a-service portfolio empowers consumers and enterprises alike to take greater control of their own security.

AdaptiveMobile was founded in 2003 and boasts some of the world’s largest mobile operators as customers and the leading security and telecom equipment vendors as partners. The company is headquartered in Dublin with offices in the North America, Europe, South Africa, Middle East and Asia Pacific.

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