In recent years, many companies have been experiencing the BYOD (Bring Your Device) trend. The win is that by making business applications accessible on personal mobile devices, employees’ satisfaction is increased, resulting in increased productivity. BYOD also addresses the high demands for flexibility that come with transitioning from company-owned to employee-owned mobile devices.
In the business world, BYOD policies are becoming increasingly familiar as a way to reduce costs. However, many companies are unaware that BYOD has significant security risks. Therefore, as an executive, you need to take a systematic approach that provides an effective way to ensure data protection for companies with this trend. Here are some helpful suggestions to help you overcome the security challenges associated with your workplace’s BYOD.
BYOD and data security risks
BYOD has many advantages, but not without its disadvantages. For many small businesses, the biggest risk is the inability to manage data. Companies cannot enforce security policies on BYOD devices, causing security issues.
Here are some points to be aware of as security risks in BYOD.
Lost or stolen devices
Company devices are more likely to be used in the office (or other workspaces), whereas personal devices are often carried everywhere. This increases the likelihood of loss or theft and the risk of data being compromised, either stored or accessed on devices.
How enthusiastic are your employees about malware protection? Malware-infected personal devices can lead to data loss, downtime, ransomware, or the spread of malware to other devices connected to the company’s network.
Data stored locally can be lost if the device is lost, stolen or damaged. So to prevent this loss, you need to secure your data.
Software security vulnerabilities
Each Operating System (OS) (and the software running on it) has its security flaws and vulnerabilities, which increase the risk of data breaches and malware infections if you let staff use all devices and OSs.
How to Overcome BYOD Security Challenges
To mitigate these risks, you must take the time to develop the BYOD security policy that best meets your business and employee needs. Here are some tips to overcome these security challenges.
Define Your Acceptable Policy
It is essential that this be clearly defined and communicated to employees who use employee-owned devices in their operations to access the network. For example, you can clearly define which applications are allowed and which are not and which websites users can access within your corporate network. A policy is required if an employee allows access to business data from a personal device. This policy secures the company from unnecessary danger. It can also provide specific content to reduce potential problems. For example, detailing compensation for employees who use personal devices for business purposes.
Applications for Remote Access
It would be even more useful if you could set up an application that allows employees to securely access company files remotely and is automatically locked out after a period of inactivity. When locked, all company files are erased from the device, but they are securely stored on the company’s data server and separate company data from employee personal data. Of course, the application must also be encrypted.
Consistent BYOD Security Updates
Mobile manufacturers such as iPhone, Android, Windows, and Blackberry are constantly updating their Operating Systems to address potential vulnerabilities and increase the safety of their devices. The continuous installation of mobile updates can greatly help protect all devices on your network from potential threats.
Use mobile device management software.
Mobile Device Management (MDM) software helps protect company data when an employee’s device is lost, stolen, or improperly passed to a new owner. MDM reduces risk by enabling data erasure from remote locations, enforcement of encryption policies, and monitoring of mobile usage by IT.
Therefore, separating business applications and sensitive data is critical, making it easier to work on security. MDM software allows erasing data owned and managed by the enterprise and setting password requirements that only affect applications. As a result, this approach helps shift the focus of security from the personal device to the critical corporate data and applications that reside on the device.
Keep your software up to date.
As mentioned earlier, many attacks exploit security vulnerabilities in software. To mitigate this risk, must keep the Operating Systems and applications installed on employee devices up to date. Always install the latest patches when warned and enable automatic updates whenever possible.
Restricting data access
One of the most useful ways to manage IT security risks is to adopt the principle of least access for both BYOD and company devices. This principle means that users only have access to the data and software they need to do their job. For example, a Customer Service team member should not have permission to install new software on their computer. Limiting access can reduce the impact of certain types of malware and data breaches.
Backing up device data
Careful BYOD policies can greatly help minimize the risk of security breaches. However, if the protection is breached, a process must be established to restore the data to its original state. A comprehensive backup strategy ensures that data stored locally on BYOD devices can be restored quickly, even if the device is stolen, lost or corrupted.
Identity Access Management
You need to implement an identity access management (IAM) method along with BYOD policies. In particular, you should use two-factor authentication to ensure that your employees are people trying to access your business data rather than devices that have fallen into the hands of someone who risks your data. To further prevent unauthorized access and the use of cached passwords, include frequent re-authentication in the BYOD IAM.
BYOD (Bring Your Device) policies are becoming increasingly popular in the workplace, and it is not difficult to understand why given their advantages and disadvantages. The biggest concern with the use of these new technologies is security. How you implement policies and security measures will have a significant impact on your organization’s risk exposure while benefiting from this business trend. However, BYOD has security challenges and must be taken care of to avoid costly breaches.
If you have difficulty establishing an effective BYOD policy, please contact us anytime. As a top provider of managed IT services, we provide world-class support and leading-edge security solutions to help you drive BYOD policies in orbit. Call us now.