Reducing BYOD security risks
One of the most common concerns relating to Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) schemes is with regards to security. In the past, IT departments could carefully manage the IT system and ensure that all relevant security measures were in place. The system was effectively a closed one and access could only be gained via approved personnel and approved devices. The IT equipment would only be used within the office and in most cases, for work-related tasks – as a result this dramatically reduced security risks.
A BYOD scheme involves employees bringing their own device into the workplace. This device will also be used at home for personal activities. For example, for an employee participating in BYOD, a Dell personal device may be used. This device can be configured by the employer to allow it to access company data and information. However, when the employee leaves the office they will use the same device for personal tasks; this in itself provides huge security risks.
Policies and identification
In order to ensure that security levels remain as high as possible, companies typically provide a set of BYOD security policies. These policies are provided to employees in order to protect the integrity and security of their devices when they are away from the workplace. A company may provide two separate passwords which restrict access to certain internet sites. In addition to this, there may be restrictions placed on the applications that can be downloaded to the device.
In terms of identification, it is extremely important that a company possesses the details of all those involved in the BYOD scheme. This will enable them to monitor how each device is being used.
Planning and accountability
It is extremely important that companies plan their BYOD strategies well in advance of the actual launch. IT specialists should be consulted and a clear and defined code of practice implemented. In addition to this, choosing the correct platform is essential; a company that utilises BYOD needs a flexible platform that can be adapted or modified efficiently. Employees should understand that there are certain levels of accountability related to BYOD responsibilities.
Many companies choose to provide BYOD security training and obtain signatures from employees who complete the course to ensure maximum understanding and education of the scheme.