The growing trend towards BYOD (bring-your-own-device) in the workplace is here to stay, whether businesses like it or not. Spurred on by the demand for ubiquitous mobile and cloud technology, BYOD is blurring the fine line that differentiates the boardroom from the bedroom. It is commonplace for employees to use personal smartphones, tablets and laptops to access work email, calendars, spreadsheets and related data at work and outside normal office hours.
BYOD offers employees the freedom and convenience to use personal devices at work, while reducing an employer’s IT hardware costs, and increasing productivity. However, it comes with its own set of security issues. For instance, an employee using an unprotected BYOD device to download apps or videos from third-party websites could be ignorant of the security breach caused to an employer by providing an unknown entity access to corporate information stored on his device. This could lead to potential financial loss, legal liability and damage to the enterprise’s brand reputation.
Make it a Win-Win Situation
Businesses should anticipate the changes a BYOD culture brings to the workplace, rather than fight it to maintain data security – transforming it into a win-win situation for both employers and employees. This can be accomplished by defining and implementing an effective BYOD mobility and security policy that:
- Aligns mobile device security policies in line with PC security, across multiple device platforms
- Uses SSL VPN to encrypt and safeguard sensitive data transmitted across potentially insecure Wi-Fi and mobile networks.
- Gains employee compliance through education on the business risks involved
- Enforces robust authentications and passwords to validate users accessing the corporate network
- Establishes stringent processes to deny gateway access when employees leave the business
- Create end-user agreements to remotely delete personal device data in the event of theft, loss or decommissioning of devices
- Monitors network traffic round-the-clock to detect and prevent malicious attacks
By securing critical data on BYOD devices, businesses and employees can benefit from the convenience and cost-savings it offers.