BlogBYOD and Your Company’s Security

BYOD and Your Company’s Security

March 7, 2014, Mobility / Service Support

Let’s set the stage with a hypothetical scenario that may resonate with you. You are leading the charge for a small to medium sized business that is growing rapidly. The headcount is growing so fast that there seem to be new people every day. The employees are bringing their own wireless devices onto the network so they can complete their work. The IT team has fired up enough bandwidth to handle the explosion of devices, but there isn’t any oversight. There are hundreds, maybe thousands, of mobile phones and tablets that are accessing the company network and company data every work day. Work is being completed, the company is growing, and everyone is happy.

And then everyone leaves the office …

Unknowing employees are downloading questionable applications so they can play games or look at a video. Maybe an employee’s eight year old has grabbed the iPad to visit a site that was on a commercial. A sales engineer jumped on an open Wi-Fi network in a coffee shop so he could send an email. The VP of HR took her devices overseas for an anniversary trip.

Two words: Data Breach.

There is less security when you allow employees to bring their own devices into the corporate environment, and data security is a daily headline now with companies like Target and Neiman Marcus experiencing issues. You need to have a solid mobile strategy for your workforce in place to limit the number of security issues your company is exposed to. There are a few points of consideration:

  1. Wireless Policy – A clearly defined guide of who will get access to mobility and how it should be used. Devices and services should also be outlined.
  2. MDM Server – A MDM server can be a big step towards securing your mobile workforce. It is becoming an absolute necessity.
  3. Applications – A company should identify which applications are worthwhile and can be used on mobile devices. This can limit the number of open intrusion paths.
  4. Employee Training – In any mobility program, the employees need to be trained on how to use mobile device effectively and how to protect sensitive information.

Whether a BYOD mobility program in your company is just starting out or has long been engrained in the culture, finding the right mix of employee buy-in and security is key. If you can seamlessly integrate mobility, either BYOD or corporate owned, into the current employee, hardware, and communication systems you will find a huge benefit to the company. And that is something to be proud of.