One in five employees is putting their company's network atrisk by using non-standard smartphones in breach of their organisation's security policy.
That's one of the findings of iPass's latest quarterly survey on mobile workforce trends which has found further evidence of the inexorable rise in smartphone usage. In the next year, according to the research, 37 percent of mobile employees believe that a mobile device will usurp the laptop for general business purposes and 27 percent believe it will be an iPad or other tablet.
The use of unprovisioned smartphones will cause greatest concern for enterprises. "Un-provisioned smartphones are a significant risk to enterprises," said Steven Wastie, senior vice president marketing and product management at iPass. "Twenty percent of these mobile employees have experienced a relevant security issue with their smartphone containing business data lost, stolen, infected or hacked."
Most companies had standardised on the Blackberry as the preferred smartphone – it was the choice of 51 percent of enterprises, ahead of the iPhone with 21 percent and Windows mobile with 12 percent.
But there's clear unhappiness in some quarters with the dominance of Blackberry as a business phone and there are signs that this dominance may not last. The survey also revealed that the Blackberry's lead as the dominant business smartphone was being eroded. While it was still the most popular – with 41 percent of business users choosing it – the iPhone was catching up fast, being used by 36 percent of employees. However, Android smartphones are showing even faster growth, their usage has risen from 3 percent to 13 percent in just six months.
And when age is taken into account, the trend is unmistakably towards iPhone and Android as being the preferred choice; older workers tend to prefer the Blackberry.
The survey also found that more people are using their smartphones in preference to using their laptops. While 51 percent of employees use only their laptops outside business hours,37 percent use their smartphones at least part of the time with the trend particularly pronounced among younger workers – 57percent of 17 to 34-year-olds opt for their smartphones.
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