As I look down at my desk at my iPhone, I cannot help but wonder what I would do without it. Not only does this device keep me connected to the world around me at all times, but it’s been a godsend for being out of the office when I need to get work done.

I guess that means I officially fall under the BYOD trend that is sweeping through businesses. Short for ‘bring your own device,’ the term at first seemed more kitschy than mainstream to me. A clever play on a more well known acronym that when you think about it actually does fit, knowing how intoxicating some of these devices, like tablets and smartphones, can be at times.

But as more and more business gets done on the road—and the budgets for issuing companywide devices remains non-existent—it seems this acronym must become part of our business vernacular.

I hope you caught segment four on this week’s edition of The Peggy Smedley Show, when Peggy and I bantered on this very topic. To me, it truly brought to light some interesting numbers that put this whole BYOD thing into perspective: in particular, the security aspect.

To some, I guess BYOD means,” ‘How cool, I will check my email on my iPhone or iPad, then cruise on over to Facebook or check out the score of the game.” But have we thought about how vulnerable our company data is when it is brought up on such a device?

Research seems to suggest no … and that employees really don’t seem to care. During this week’s show we discussed a survey from Bradford Networks that revealed 60% of organizations allow employees to bring their own devices, but only 9% said they were fully aware of which devices were accessing corporate data.

So you know what that means, right? BYOD suddenly turns into BYOV—bring your own virus—into the corporate network. Yikes! This had never been a concern in the past because company-issued devices would have the proper security controls in place before they were issued. But in the era of BYOD, companies need to consider a software solution that can work across multiple kinds of devices.

Here is an interesting fact from a recent Cisco report: More than 40% of college students and young employees said they would accept a lower-paying job with more flexibility regarding device choice than a higher-paying job with less flexibility. Oh, how nice of them. But then when I hear seven of ten employees admitted to knowingly breaking IT policies on a regular basis, and that three of five believe they are not responsible for protecting corporate information and devices, it makes me shake my head.

Okay, so let’s talk about what to do about this security concern. Too often, discussions relating to the promise and benefits that connected devices can invariably turn into a darker discussion of security threats and privacy concerns. But let’s separate fact from fiction.

At this year’s Connected World Conference, we have a session related to device security. Our panel of experts will help you prioritize threats and concerns. In the end, the intent is to give you the confidence to adopt and experience the benefits of connected devices.

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