The increase in remote work and the tendency for employees to already have suitable devices at home have led to a landscape where many companies are turning to Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) strategies for remote work.
In this situation, work and business communications are handled through the employee’s device instead of dedicated devices for work supplied by the employer.
There are many reasons why employers are turning to BYOD, such as the direct cost savings of not having to purchase additional mobile devices or potential productivity gains.
Research shows that employees could be as much as 34 percent more productive when using their own familiar devices.
However, there are also BYOD risks and issues that companies must be aware of. At the forefront of these issues is device security.
The problems with BYOD arise from the lack of control that businesses can exercise over employee-owned devices, which leaves them open to various security risks.
In this article, we will take a closer look at some of the potential risks of BYOD and how to avoid them.
Get Insight on BYOD Security Risks From a Trusted Partner
The BYOD Risks Your Company Could Face
Bring your own device to work security issues cover a very wide range of technical and operational risks. Without real control over the device, it can be a significant challenge to implement effective security measures.
Here are the potential risks associated with BYOD security and its implementation.
Data breaches are among the most serious BYOD risks for any organization. Even the smallest security breach could result in the loss of sensitive client, employee or operational data. This can have a disastrous effect on a company in terms of fiscal, reputational and legal consequences.
An employee’s device can serve as an entry point to corporate data and networks for third parties. Connecting to public or personal networks with their own device can leave the door open for hackers for hackers who can quickly gain access to company data and communications.
While unauthorized access to the device is one of the security risks of BYOD, there are more sophisticated attacks as well.
Another major risk is the vulnerability of employee devices to malicious software. When an IT team doesn’t carefully curate the applications and software installed on a device, an employee could find themselves using malicious software that steals data or infiltrates company networks.
These types of attacks don’t necessarily rely on employees installing malicious software directly. A lack of proper security updates to the operating system and other software can leave security gaps. Maintaining security updates is a vital task in data security, one that could be overlooked with BYOD policies.
The clearest BYOD security risks are those regarding access to company networks and data. However, having employees use their own devices also presents certain privacy issues.
Just as there is a risk of corporate data leakage, there is also a risk in handling private employee information. This sensitive data on the device could potentially be accessed through the company network.
There is also the risk of a security event calling for a complete wipe of a device, which could include an employee’s private data.
Relying on BYOD also presents issues when an employee leaves the company. They cannot be allowed to leave with company data or access to internal cloud databases and services.
However, a company may not have any say at all over what an employee does with their own device.
Best Practices to Mitigate the Risks of BYOD
BYOD presents many risks, but what can companies do about it? Research from AT&T shows that 51 percent of corporate data breaches involved employee-owned devices. To ensure proper security measures are followed, an organization can focus on these solutions.
Mobile Device Management
Even when an employee uses their own device for work, an organization can put certain mobile device management measures in place as part of their terms of employment. Implementing controls in areas such as application installation can have a considerable impact on device security.
Through containerization, a device can be essentially divided between its work and personal functions. Mobile device management controls can be applied specifically to work functions without restricting personal use.
Many prominent security threats are already well known. Implementing a list of apps, networks and addresses that are known to be malicious can protect your organization against numerous threats.
With reliable cybersecurity services, you can ensure your business is always up-to-date on the latest security measures.
Any organization that incorporates BYOD should consider encryption to protect important communications and data.
Beyond the transit encryption that is standard in most well-managed networks, encryption for data at rest can protect sensitive data even if an employee’s device is lost or stolen.
Interested in learning more about cybersecurity? Check out these blogs:
Mitigate BYOD Security Risks With a Proven Partner
The risks of BYOD and the associated solutions continue to evolve. Keeping your organization protected isn’t a simple one-off action. Instead, it’s an ongoing task that requires constant vigilance from true industry experts.
As a leading managed services provider, NetGain Technologies helps to ensure your company takes the best approach to BYOD security. Our experienced engineers can provide you with the BYOD strategy, assistance and advice needed to protect your business and your employees.
In addition to BYOD security, we also offer a wide range of managed services for your organization’s broader network and IT infrastructure.
For more information, contact us today for a free consultation on how your company can avoid the security risks of BYOD.
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