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‘Bring Your Own Device’ sounds like a dream come true when you first hear about it. You cut down on the amount of equipment you buy your staff, and you don’t have to train them on the basic functions of the device. However, it’s not entirely perfect in the land of BYOD, especially when you need these devices to connect to your business infrastructure. Before letting your employees run wild, consider the major security issues BYOD poses to yourself and to your employees. Data breaches in the U.S. cost companies $5.4 million per year, according to Symantec. Do everything you can to avoid adding dollar signs to that figure. “Risk management must be the foundation to any BYOD program,” says Information Security Forum.
The first thing you have to look at when it comes to your business and BYOD policies is your overall business culture. You want to see how your employees treat safety and security measures before a BYOD policy gets enacted. You don’t want to let a bunch of employees bring their personal items to work and lose them outside the office, or share them around the office. Either one of these scenarios is a guaranteed way to lose your high tech, highly secure data.
CSO Online reports that employees are going to end up using their phones whether you want them to or not, so make sure that they aren’t introducing a malicious virus to the network when they download apps on their own accord. It’s easy to make an app look reputable to the average smartphone user. Create your own app store with different categories of apps, and continually add secure apps that perform the functions you desire.
Mobile device management (MDM), such as the one offered by BlackBerry, creates sandboxes for your employees to use that are separate from their current personal space. This provides a separation between work and personal space on the phone, as well as providing you with secured apps that produce encrypted data. Click here to find out more about how BlackBerry is tackling the BYOD situation.
You can spend all the time in the world securing devices from attacks by virtual hackers and attacks, but your anti-virus program isn’t going to stop a co-worker or thief from physically stealing the device. Use anti-theft apps to protect your data and devices. The phone can lock down most of its functions, take a picture of the person who tries to unlock it and report the GPS information. There is also the option of remotely wiping the device, giving you a way to get business data out of the bad guy’s hands without breaking a sweat.