Bring your own device, also known as BYOD, policies are becoming increasingly popular in the business world as a way to save on costs. But what many businesses don’t realize is that there are significant security risks associated with BYOD that must be taken into account.
In this blog post, our managed network security experts explore some of the most common BYOD security risks and how you can protect your business from them.
What Is BYOD And Why Is It Becoming Increasingly Popular In The Workplace?
Bring your own device, or BYOD, is just as it sounds – employees bring their personal devices to and from work. With BYOD, employees are not given a separate computer to use while at work, instead, they use their personal computer, phone, or tablet.
The hybrid work model has become the new normal these past few months, which in turn, has increased the number of organizations switching to BYOD policies. Having BYOD allows employees the flexibility to work from anywhere, whether they are working from home, in the office, or while they are traveling. It is also budget-friendly, as organizations do not have to buy new computers for every employee and replace outdated devices every 3-5 years.
Why Is BYOD Security Important?
In today’s business world, employees are increasingly using their own devices for work purposes. This trend can offer many advantages for businesses, including increased productivity and decreased costs.
By allowing employees to use their own devices, businesses are essentially opening up their corporate network to potential security concerns.
BYOD security is important because it helps to protect corporate data. When employees bring their own devices to work, they may inadvertently introduce malware or viruses onto the network. Additionally, personal devices may not be as secure as corporate-issued ones, making them more vulnerable to exploitation by hackers.
Device security policies help to mitigate these risks by specifying how devices should be used and what precautions should be taken. For example, policies might require employees to install security software on their devices or refrain from downloading certain types of files.
By implementing BYOD security policies, companies can help to keep their data safe and secure.
The BYOD Security Risks
While this sounds like a good way to improve efficiency and cut costs, there are many security risks to consider before making the decision to implement a BYOD policy.
Three BYOD Threats And Vulnerabilities To Consider
- The risk of malware increases. With BYOD, it is hard to control if antivirus software is installed on personal devices. It is also difficult to regulate keeping that software up to date, which makes devices vulnerable to viruses and other malware.
- Device theft and/or loss becomes more probable. With employees traveling to and from work with their personal devices, the chances of the device getting misplaced or stolen increases. If this happens, your company’s data is at risk of being compromised.
- Unsecure networks could lead to a cyberattack or data breach. When an employee connects their personal device to wi-fi, especially in a public place like a coffee shop, company data will be at risk if they do not have a VPN (virtual private network) installed.
How Do You Protect BYOD Devices?
In a BYOD (bring your own device) environment, employees use their own smartphones, laptops, and tablets for work purposes. While this can increase productivity and flexibility, it can also create security risks.
To increase the level of BYOD security, businesses should implement the following measures:
- Require employees to use a VPN (virtual private network) when accessing company data. This will encrypt the data and protect it from being intercepted by hackers.
- Install mobile device management software on all BYOD devices. This will allow the IT department to remotely wipe the device if it is lost or stolen.
- Train employees on proper security procedures, such as not sharing passwords and not downloading email attachments from unknown sources.
- Enforce strict password policies, such as requiring employees to use strong passwords and to change them regularly.
- Regularly scan BYOD devices for malware and other security threats.
BYOD can offer many benefits for businesses, but it is important to be aware of the security risks involved. By taking steps to secure BYOD devices, businesses can help protect their data from being compromised.
BYOD Security Best Practices
There are a few simple best practices that businesses can implement to ensure BYOD security best practices are followed.
First, employees should be educated on the importance of security and the steps they need to take to keep their devices safe.
Second, businesses should have a clear and comprehensive BYOD policy in place that outlines acceptable use and security procedures.
Finally, businesses should consider implementing security measures such as mobile device management software and requiring the use of VPNs.
By following these best practices, businesses can help to keep their data safe and secure.
Mobile Security Measures
Mobile devices are often less secure than traditional laptops or desktop computers and can be more easily lost or stolen. Additionally, many employees are not familiar with basic security best practices, such as keeping their devices password-protected and avoiding public Wi-Fi networks.
There are a few key steps businesses can take to help mitigate these risks.
First, it’s important to have a BYOD policy in place that outlines acceptable use and security measures. Employees should be made aware of this policy and be required to adhere to it.
Second, businesses should consider using a mobile device management (MDM) solution to help manage and secure devices.
Finally, businesses should require the use of VPNs when accessing company data. This will help to encrypt sensitive data and keep it safe from being intercepted by hackers.
By taking these steps, businesses can help to keep their data safe and secure.
BYOD Security Policy
Every organization’s BYOD security policy will be different, so before you begin a BYOD policy, do your research. Determine if your organization and your employees would benefit from a BYOD policy.
Also, decide what requirements would be included and outline how these requirements would be enforced.
For a BYOD policy to succeed, your employees need to understand exactly what the policy’s guidelines are and who to go to if there are ever any questions or concerns.
Contact CEI For All Of Your BYOD Security Solutions
If you are thinking about implementing a BYOD device policy, Strategic Systems, A Division of CEI, can assist your IT team in ensuring that your necessary security features and software are up-to-date. Contact us today at 919-783-1410 or fill out the form below!