How to Mitigate BYOD Risks and Challenges

By CIOReview | Friday, September 23, 2016

Organizations across the globe are trying to consumerize their overall IT infrastructure to promote the productivity and agility of employees. But, this transformation also comes along with a considerable amount of risks and limitations. Consumerization or implementation of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) programs facilitate employees with the freedom to access and use enterprise data on their own devices, increasing the chances of a potential data leakage.

Below are a few scenarios depicting data integrity concerns:

Accessing Data via Unauthorized Third Party Mobile Apps

With BYOD program, employees tend to install third party apps on their smartphones to work on the confidential enterprise data. Unaware of the potential risks involved, they allow access to potential hackers who might be able to break into the enterprise network and steal confidential data without even alerting the employees.

Inefficiency in Data Tracking and Management

Most enterprises fail to invest ample amount of time in the process of effectively tracking and managing the data used by the employees. They depend on third party service providers to take care of the entire process of monitoring the data. This kind of ignorance in ensuring security may often lead to unpredictable results. For enterprises dealing with large data volumes, it is recommended to develop a stringent management strategy that ensures foolproof data security.

Absence of Mobile Device Management

Mobile device management (MDM) is an effective platform integrated with several features that monitors and limits the use of enterprise data with an enhanced level of efficiency. As a cloud or on-premise solution, MDM focuses on ensuring whether the employees adhere to the security policies of the company. The functions of MDM tool include email security, data segregation, and managing the policies on smartphones, laptops, and tablets. When the devices are lost or stolen, MDM can erase crucial enterprise data before they get into the hands of potential hackers.

Lack of Awareness amongst Employees

When it comes to safeguarding a company’s confidential data, a general awareness about BYOD amongst the employees plays a vital role. In most cases, employees fail to understand the value as well as the untoward consequences of enterprise data being exposed to external attackers. Conducting awareness training sessions is always the initial step towards securing the data.

It is crucial for enterprises to consider the following steps before bringing the BYOD program into effect:

Create a Flawless BYOD Policy

Before granting the freedom of BYOD program for employees, enterprises should be able to create a rigid and foolproof security policy. Furthermore, it is recommended to adopt the following course of action:

• Evaluating the responsibilities such as maintenance, device support, and expenditure.

• Ensuring regular backup of the data.

• Enabling the facility of remotely wiping out enterprise data from the devices.

• Restricting the usage of jail-broken or rooted devices.

Equip Devices with the Latest Operating Systems

Most recent operating systems come along with a bundle of latest security patches which serves as a supporting factor for protecting enterprise data. Installing them makes it easy for organizations to find solution for vulnerabilities in the corporate network. Enabling frequent software updates on the devices is also a recommended course of action.

Classify Employees and Grant Privileges Accordingly

Limiting access to enterprise data according to the nature of an employees’ job is a smart move. Authorized users may be classified into categories such as standard, professional, advanced, and guest users. Implementing this step can help enterprises control and monitor the flow of data. Staying constantly updated with the latest security strategies will also be beneficial.