Bring Your Own Device is a popular topic as of late, but is this mobile policy just a trend, or will it be the way of the future? Based on the opinion of some industry experts, this particular IT model, or some form of it, is here to stay. BYOD enables employees to use their personally owned devices for work. With the correct planning and a robust Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution, there are definitely benefits for businesses that officially adopt some type of BYOD policy.
At the same time, any BYOD model will come with some potential risks and every business owner, president, corporate CIO or CEO must be prepared to engage these risks through the development and implementation of IT policies and mobile management solutions.
Below you will find five common risks associated with using a BYOD model:
- Third Party Applications – because it is much more difficult for IT departments to monitor activity on personal devices, the possibility of employees downloading third-party applications that may be potentially harmful to the company network and confidential information is a genuine concern. Third party applications are not always scanned for security purposes and these applications can present numerous risks. There are applications that have the capacity to retrieve login and password information. This could easily place the company at risk for a data breach
- Personal and Work Content Separation – With employees accessing company information on their personal device, there is no separation between company data and personal data. What this means is that when an employee leaves the office they are taking company information with them, and the same goes for bringing personal data into the workplace. In the event of a security breach, it leaves the possibility of exposing any sensitive company content information to the public. On the other side this can also cause a privacy issue, exposing all of the employee’s personal information as well.
- Lost or Stolen Device – Another major concern associated with using a BYOD model is the inevitability of a device being lost or stolen. If an employee loses their device and it contains sensitive company data, or worse, if the device can be used to access the company’s network, the company’s data is at risk of being compromised. Many employees fail to use their device’s security features, such as screen lock pass code entry, etc. This leaves your company exposed.
- Unsecured Networks – Because employees have always have 100 percent access to their own devices they will occasionally access the internet through unsecured Wi-Fi and networks. Unsecured networks are one of the primary gateways used by hackers to access laptops and computers or unsuspecting people for the purpose of gaining access to their personal information. These hackers are most likely not looking to gain access to your company data, but once they have access to the employee’s device they will have complete access to the information of your employee’s device, meaning they can access company data as well.
- Disgruntled Employees – The possibility of an employee becoming disenfranchised with your company is very real. Because the employee owns the device they have no legal obligation to surrender it upon termination. They are, however, obligated to surrender the intellectual property that belongs to your company, but getting them to do so may be a little more challenging than you think.
The good news is there are steps you can take to help prevent insecurities, and there are solutions to manage your BYOD devices and mitigate these risks. The key to engaging all of these risks is to carefully develop and implement policies that cover all of the contingencies associated with these risks, and to implement a solution that can manage the devices that are being used for work that contain company information.
Enterprise mobility solutions such as AirWatch® and BlackBerry’s BlackBerry® Enterprise Service 10 can be implemented in a hosted or on-premise deployment, and can manage and support a wide range of BYOD devices in a simple and effective process. Features like AirWatch’s Workspace containerization solution provides complete separation of corporate and personal data on a device, keeping company information secure while maintaining privacy of employee personal information.
So, how do you feel about BYOD? Do you think it is here to stay?
Want to learn more about AirWatch and BlackBerry’s BYOD solutions? Get in touch with Cloud Capital Group!