Holiday shopping with personal devices at work could pose security risk

Almost half of IT members in ISACA survey say bring-your-own-device trend is worrisome

Workers are planning to do more online holiday shopping this year while on the job, with many using their own personal smartphones and tablets, a new survey shows.

As a result, many IT managers are worried about corporate network security since personal devices may face a greater risk of being hacked during shopping forays, according to ISACA, a non-profit IT advisory group with 95,000 members. Most are IT workers and managers.

In two surveys, ISACA found that the average American will spend 32 hours shopping online this holiday season, with 11 of those hours on a personally-owned smartphone or tablet that is also used for work tasks. Because the device connects to corporate networks and accesses data at times, its use for personal online transactions can post a significant hacker risk to companies unless precautions are taken, ISACA officials said.

"Our key point is that we want to ensure the 'bring-your-own-device' trend works in a secure manner and that workers are following processes that the organization has put in place," said Rob Stroud, past international vice president for ISACA and vice president of strategy and innovation at CA.

The so-called BYOD trend has escalated in the past 12 months, Stroud noted, as companies such as IBM and others have allowed workers to bring in their favorite devices to connect to corporate VPNs and email systems. The "consumerization of IT" has flourished with abundant apps and smarter devices such as Android and iOS smartphones and tablets, he said.

Separately, analysts have taken note of the trend. Companies have sometimes allowed workers to use their own devices in the office because even when a certain smartphone is required to access corporate networks, a worker will circumvent that requirement using his or her own device.

To continue reading this article register now

7 inconvenient truths about the hybrid work trend
Shop Tech Products at Amazon