CIOs resist BYOD security threats

CIOs in Singapore are stepping up their fight against the security risks posed by the widespread use of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) practices, where employees use their own laptops, tablets and smartphones at work.

More than one in three (36%) CIOs say a lack of employee knowledge and skills around data security is the most significant security risk their organisation will face in the next five years, according to a report from Robert Half.

While traditionally, the response to IT security has been to find the optimum way to protect a business’ assets from external security attacks, a growing risk now faces organisations in the form of potential internal security threats.

This threat is made evident by the fact that almost three in four (74%) CIOs allow their employees to access corporate data on their personal devices.

Matthieu Imbert-Bouchard, managing director of Robert Half Singapore said that BYOD practices offer many advantages such as increased employee satisfaction, productivity and cost savings, so companies must take steps to balance both their employees’ needs and their security concerns.

To combat the ongoing threat posed by BYOD, nearly all (97%) of CIOs are taking action to protect their company from potential data breaches.

The most common response (58%) is to train personnel on cyber-security policies and corporate practices when using their personal devices. Signing an acceptable use policy also seems to be standard practice for more than half (57%) of the Singaporean companies.

Technical applications are being implemented as 53% say they are deploying mobile device management technology and 52% are using authentication software.

There is an increased demand for IT security specialists with the niche skills needed to protect companies against data security risks, including risks related to BYOD. But finding the right skillset is a challenge, with all of Singaporean CIOs saying it is difficult to source skilled technology professionals, with one in three (29%) saying professionals with mobile security skills are the most in demand.