Itasca, IL - Mar 24, 2015 - When the Kim Kardashian Hollywood game app, which an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) employee was playing on her mobile work phone, tweeted out to the EPA's 52,000 Twitter followers without her knowledge, "I'm now a C-List celebrity in Kim Kardashian: Hollywood. Come join me…," Chief Security Officers everywhere shuddered. And rightly so. According to a new report, The BYOD Trojan Horse: Dangerous Mobile App Behaviors & Back-Door Security Risks prepared jointly by Flexera Software and IDC, enterprises are not doing nearly enough to understand which mobile app behaviors hitting their networks and data are risky, nor are they testing apps for those risky behaviors to ensure proper enforcement of their BYOD policies.
The report provides a sobering wake up call to enterprises, underscoring that BYOD risk doesn't just arise from malicious hackers and rogue nations. Threats to data and security are hidden, as in a Trojan horse, in the most innocuous-seeming apps that employees can unwittingly unleash on the enterprise, like a flashlight app that illegally transmits user data to advertisers, or common banking apps capable of capturing device logs, accessing contacts lists, reading SMS messages or even installing packages on the phone. Among the report's findings:
"BYOD policies are critical to organizations seeking to maximize the value and minimize the risks they encounter by integrating mobile devices and apps within their infrastructures, because these policies define the behaviors that are and are not acceptable," said Robert Young, Research Manager, End Point Device & IT Service Management and Client Virtualization Software, IDC. "But BYOD policies are inadequate if appropriate enforcement mechanisms are not put into place and followed."
"Most organizations already have strong processes to test and remediate traditional desktop, virtualized and cloud based applications to make sure they're safe and reliable. But as the report indicates, enterprises have not extended these Application Readiness best practices to mobile apps," said Maureen Polte, Vice President of Product Management at Flexera Software. "These same processes can and should be extended to mobile apps to ensure that risky app behaviors and apps are identified and appropriate measures are taken to contain those risks."
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About This Report
This report is based on the 2015 Application Usage and Value survey, conducted by Flexera Software with input from IDC's Software Pricing and Licensing Research division under the direction of Amy Konary, Research Vice President - Software Licensing and Provisioning at IDC. The surveys were completed between November, 2014 and January, 2015, by more than 580 respondents from software vendors, intelligent device manufacturers and end-user enterprises. This annual research project looks at software licensing, compliance and installation trends and best practices.