Bring Your Own Device (BYOD): The security risks

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD): The security risks

Apple recently announced the launch of its latest device the iPhone 6. Although their website was not prepared for the amount of visitors it received (which is an issue on its own) the volume of traffic shows just how well this device is going to do in the marketplace, at least early on.

People are going to flock to new devices and want to stay current with technology in the market, but at the rate that new products are launched it is almost impossible for a business to provide all of their employees with the newest product as soon as they are launched. So to make employees happy businesses are issuing a bring your own device (BYOD) policy so they can be more productive, mobile and accessible.

The problem is that once you allow something from the outside to enter your network you have to make sure they follow all of the rules you have for all of the company owned equipment.

How to Secure Smart Phones

Smart phones are great. Things like Apple’s iPhone or the Samsung Galaxy or any Windows phone are wonderful tools to have. They allow you to access and respond to emails in a timely manner, review documents on the go and have all of your contacts in your hand and synced to your network. They can also carry a lot of data that needs to be secured.

Whether it is a company owned mobile device or the employee has provided their own smartphone, security measures must be put in place.

Simple things like forcing the phone to have a password before they can access any emails or files. Ensuring that if the phone is lost or stolen it can be remotely wiped so that if the person who finds the phone tries to and is successful at hacking the password there won’t be any data for them to take.

If the employee says they don’t want these rules applied to their device, then they can go without one. You don’t want to be on the end of lawsuit or lost business because you chose not to secure your smartphones and data gets taken.

How to Secure Laptops

Similar to smartphones, any device that can leave your office or that will carry any company data needs to be secured by a password and you must have the ability to remove data remotely in case of theft and loss.

But with laptops you also have to ensure that when they connect to your internal network you aren’t opening a gateway to viruses or worse. Beyond passwords, ensuring that your employees are using current and enterprise grade antivirus software as well as ensuring that their machines are up to date on any security patches that been issued by Microsoft, Apple or Android is key to keeping your network secure.

Leaving these unmonitored and without protection can lead to data loss and viruses like Cryptolocker or Heartbleed Bug getting through to your network.

Allowing employees to bring their own devices is a great policy. It can save money and keep employees happy with the products they get to use because they aren’t limited by company resources. But, without having proper policies in place, and following them, you leave your organization open to data loss or worse.

Ensuring passwords and antiviruses rules are in place you can feel confident no matter what they are using.