March Madness study argues need for greater BYOD scrutiny for media apps
A new report from Flexera Software has revealed a lack of security and testing from enterprises on BYOD plans for various media and sports apps.
The report arrives in the midst of the NCAA ‘March Madness’ basketball tournament and attempts to ask whether, in Flexera’s words, March Madness could make the CIO an April fool. 28 popular US media and sporting apps, ranging from ESPN to Twitter to Yahoo, were assessed on iOS in terms of BYOD risks to organisations, and the researchers found more than two thirds (71% and 68%) were able to access the device’s social media and SMS functionality respectively.
89% of apps analysed, including ESPN and the official March Madness Live app, were able to connect with ad networks and display in-app advertising, according to the research. 79% were capable of accessing the device’s location tracking functionality, although only five apps could access location services.
The tests were all conducted using Flexera’s AdminStudio Mobile product, and the researchers argued the results were worrying if employees were hoping to catch up on the action, with a previous study arguing many organisations have not yet classified risky apps or app behaviour.
“CIOs are very good about keeping track of the myriad enterprise applications running on their networks, understanding what those applications do and mitigating risks…however few organisations extend those processes to mobile apps,” the researchers argue. “This begs the question –is a corporate CIO putting her organisation at risk and her reputation in jeopardy by failing to understand the behaviours of mobile apps employees are using that interact with corporate systems and data?”
While these results may look poor for corporate organisations scrutinising BYOD policy, elsewhere a report from Technavio argues the increased adoption of BYOD is to drive investments in US primary and secondary school (K-12) education to more than $15 billion by 2019. The report cites an uptake in ‘personalised learning solutions’ and an increase in MOOCs (massive open online courses) as driving this trend.