Survey finds BYOD presents ongoing challenge to cloud security

Among other things, respondents listed malware protection and unmanaged device access as top security concerns.

Jeff Rowe | Nov 05, 2017 11:00 pm

One of the oft-cited advantages of the cloud is its flexibility and quick scalability.  But while those attributes understandably appeal to health IT managers, they don’t come entirely without risk.

For example, a recent survey by Bitglass, a cloud security firm, polled over 200 IT and security professionals to learn more about how IT staff and decision-makers handle the growing threat of security issues with Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies as an expanding healthcare tool. 

According to their research, one in four organizations lack some form of multi-factor authentication when securing BYOD, a practice which is consistent with well-known enterprise security gaps. Using compromised passwords to control access and single-factor authentication has resulted in several high-profile data breaches in recent months.\

"Enterprises often misjudge the effectiveness of traditional security solutions, many of which are readily bypassed," Bitglass CEO Rich Campagna said in a statement. "The BYOD boom exposes organizations to risks that can only be mitigated with next-gen, data-centric solutions that secure access."

Survey respondents identified external sharing, malware protection, and unmanages device access as their top security priorities for 2018. Shadow IT, improved analytics, and consolidating security solutions were also ranked as key concerns.

BYOD policies are taking advantage of expanding cloud opportunities, along with other health IT infrastructure tools, by using the cloud to manage BYOD devices.

For the survey, twenty-three percent of professionals polled said that they use cloud access security brokers (CASB) with 39 percent reporting that they have active plans to purchase a CASB. CASBs give organizations more visibility and control over the applications used on BYOD devices.

“BYOD requires that enterprises adopt modern methods of security,” Bitglass researchers concluded. “Looking ahead, IT departments will be forced to change the way that they think about data protection— particularly as new technologies like Apple’s Face ID enter the market. Forward-thinking enterprises are focused on total data protection, secure authentication, and the tools that best balance security and employee productivity.”