GCC Firms Slow To Catch Up With BYOD

Survey finds data security to be the biggest concern preventing companies from cloud adoption.



GCC companies have been unable to keep up with the growing trend of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) amongst employees, investing only 15 per cent or less of their IT budgets to support it, a new survey revealed.

Almost half of respondents polled in this year’s Gulf Business Machines (GBM) Security Survey said that they are now permitted to connect personal devices at work. Since 2012, there has been a 19 per cent rise in those owning five or more personal devices.

“The increased focus on rolling out smart government services in our region is one of the factors driving the increase of device connectivity in the workplace,” commented Hani Nofal, director of Intelligent Network Solutions (INS) at GBM.

However, experts warned that this growing trend of employees connecting to company networks from several devices also makes the GCC a prime target for cyber-security crimes and warrants additional IT security precautions.

According to this year’s survey, security incidents caused by internal staff in the previous 12 months rose to 58 percent, up from 35 percent in 2013.

“Internal IT security precautions have not yet caught up with the increase in liabilities caused by employee activity on personal connected devices and associated online activity,” said Nofal.

“We know the region is a prime target for cyber-attacks, so companies must redefine internal IT security best practices,” he suggested.

The survey also found that data security remained the biggest concern preventing companies from cloud adoption.

However, at the same time up to 40 percent of employees in the GCC are already using less secure free cloud-based data storage options to store company documents, the survey found.