Research in Motion: Don’t Look Now But We Have More Bad News

As corporate IT departments increasingly allow any kind of personal smartphone or tablet within their facilities, the “bring your own device” phenomenon has become both a catalyst for greater security risks and another disappointment for BlackBerry manufacturer Research in Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM).

For many years, BlackBerrys were the only mobile phone allowed in IT departments because they long had the reputation for being the most secure mobile devices on the market. But the savings that resulted from allowing employees to use their own devices have aided policy change.

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While the “bring your own device” trend has been growing over the past several years, it accelerated this year as BlackBerry’s creator hit bottom. Since 2010, when BlackBerry led the market, Research in Motion’s market share has dropped from 39 percent to 9.5 percent, according to comScore.

Some companies, Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) among them, have even banned BlackBerrys entirely, favoring Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) phones. Now, the phone’s rivals have caught up: Apple’s iOS, Google’s Android, and Microsoft’s Windows Phone have vastly improved corporate-grade security protections.

Yet cyberattacks on mobile devices are on the rise. A recent report from Ponemon Institute shows that 59 percent of employees circumvent or disengage security features such as passcodes, and 51 percent of the organizations experienced data loss resulting from employee use of unsecured mobile devices.

Solving mobile devices’ security threats will not be simple, smartphones and tablets are built differently from personal computers.

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