New Survey Finds 85 Percent of Educational Institutions Allow BYOD Despite Security Concerns

Posted by Joanne Godfrey on May 21st, 2013

Bradford Networks ‘Impact of BYOD on Education’ Survey Finds 72 Percent of Students Use Personal Mobile Devices for Class Assignments; 52 Percent Integrating Devices into Classroom Experience 

Cambridge, MA, May 21, 2013 — Despite network security concerns, 85 percent of education institutions currently allow some form of Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) on their school networks, according to the Bradford Networks ‘Impact of BYOD on Education’ global survey.  Of these institutions, more than half are securing and automating BYOD with Network Access Control (NAC) solutions.  The survey can be downloaded at: www.bradfordnetworks.com/Impact_of_BYOD_on_Education_Survey

The ‘Impact of BYOD on Education’ survey is based on the response of more than 500 IT professionals from colleges, universities and K-12 school districts across the US and UK.  As adoption of BYOD increases, educators at all levels are finding new ways to integrate mobile devices into the educational experience.  This movement is helping to transform education and enable innovative uses of technology in the classroom, providing students with new, interactive methods of learning.  BYOD, however, also presents unique security challenges and questions for the school’s IT staffs.  The Bradford Networks survey examines the impact of the BYOD on education, the key challenges, and concerns that impact wider adoption.

Key findings of the survey include:

  • BYOD Adoption High Across the Education Spectrum; Higher Ed Outpaces K-12
    • 85 percent of respondents currently allow students/faculty/staff to use their network.
    • 89 percent of respondents from higher education stated they allow students to use their own devices on campus networks, while only 44 percent of K-12 respondents allow students to bring their own device.
    • 84 percent of schools who do not currently allow BYOD stated that they receive frequent requests from students and faculty to use their own devices on the network.
  • Personally-Owned Mobile Devices Are Changing the Education Experience
    • 78 percent of respondents stated that personal devices were being used in their school systems “for personal use by teachers and students,” while 72 percent stated that students used the devices to complete class assignments.
    • 52 percent of respondents stated that personal devices were being integrated into the classroom experience.
  • NAC Emerges as Critical BYOD Enabler; Startling Security Practices Still Exist
    • 56 percent of respondents stated that they use network access control to automate the BYOD on-boarding process; 17 percent stated that the IT department manually registers each device.
    • 27 percent of respondents stated that they allow open access to the school network to anyone, without registration despite going against best practices in network security.
    • 54 percent of respondents said they do not require Antivirus products to be installed on the device prior to allowing it to connect the network.

“Education institutions have been at the forefront of the BYOD trend for years and in many ways provides a road map for enterprise organizations that are just starting to embrace freedom of device choice for their employees,” said Tom Murphy, CMO of Bradford Networks. “However, this survey demonstrates that there are still too many organizations that are putting their school’s networks at risk through poor security policies.  The mobile device-induced transformation of education needs to be tempered with the proper security strategies that protect students and sensitive information.  This starts with gaining 100 percent visibility into every user and device attempting to connect to its network, and having an automated process to restrict devices that do not meet proper security standards.”

To see the full results of the “The Impact of BYOD in Education” survey brief please visit: www.bradfordnetworks.com/Impact_of_BYOD_on_Education_Survey

About Bradford Networks 

Bradford Networks offers the best solution to enable secure network access for corporate issued and personal mobile devices. The company’s patented Network Sentry solution is the first network security offering that can automatically identify all devices and all users on a network, providing complete visibility and control. Unlike vendor-specific network security products, Network Sentry provides a view across all brands of network equipment and connecting devices eliminating the network blind spots that can introduce risk.  Network Sentry is used by more than 900 enterprise customers worldwide in markets such as healthcare, financial services, retail, government, education and more. For more information, please visit www.bradfordnetworks.com.