In the past decade, mobile technology has evolved to become a ubiquitous tool essential to businesses. Smartphones are now indispensable to communication; tablets are necessary tools for busy employees, and laptops make it possible for teams to collaborate and be productive both inside and outside the office.
This near-universal adoption of mobile technology is driving another trend that’s setting a new standard in workplaces: BYOD.
BYOD, or Bring Your Own Device, is a system that allows employees to be more productive and gives businesses the chance to save money by merely letting team members bring and use their own devices to work. Research notes that BYOD policies are a great way to boost employee satisfaction and convenience. In fact, 74% of organizations have either already implemented the program or plan to in the future.
However, for all of BYOD’s perks, there are certain risks that businesses should be aware of, such as security. When a company no longer distributes, monitors, and maintains official devices for employees, it becomes increasingly harder to ensure that each device that has access to sensitive business data is protected from viruses or malicious attacks.
That said, here are some data security considerations to keep in mind before implementing BYOD in your company:
Maintaining accessibility without compromising privacy.
Implementing a comprehensive policy that secures both personal and corporate data is critical to the success of a BYOD program.
Both the company and the employees have to be very careful about making sure that their corporate data remains secure—primarily when multiple devices from different employees are being used to access them. To that end, companies need to provide tech solutions and propose new policies that protect business-critical data while still ensuring end-user privacy.
Finding the balance between securing confidential data and enforcing policies without being intrusive can be tricky. Without the careful implementation of policies and procedures that address this, you could leave devices open to data leaks.
Devices with vulnerabilities that can be exploited.
BYOD means businesses have less control over the devices being used in the office. Also, since these phones or laptops are the property of the employee, they are free to download as many apps as they want. Employees can also connect to any WiFi connection available without fully considering the possible security implications.
This is especially worrisome given that according to a study conducted by HP, a staggering 97% of employee devices have privacy issues, and 75% lack adequate data encryption. Most employee-owned devices don’t even have sufficient anti-virus protection or updated firewalls. This demonstrates how vulnerable devices are to attacks and underscores the need to provide training to employees so that they understand and become aware of the security risks.
Mixing of personal and business data.
When you’re using a single device as both a personal and business tool with storage is on a single device, it’s almost inevitable that certain types of data will be inadvertently exposed to security issues.
Malware could unknowingly be installed on employee devices or hackers employing keyboard logging can access login and password credentials. The result is a possible security risk to the business data stored on personal devices.
Lost or stolen devices.
Statistics note that more than 68 percent of security breaches take place when devices are stolen. It reasonably confirms that the biggest BYOD security risks businesses face is when employee devices are lost or stolen.
The simplest way to address this is by ensuring that device owners turn on their basic device security features such as passwords, pin codes, and geo-locators. Unfortunately, even these necessary security measures are often overlooked.
Once your company decides to implement BYOD, keep in mind that there are modifications that have to be made in the IT infrastructure and processes. It’s essential that those responsible for device security identify critical applications that secure business data, support end-user privacy, and ensure workforce mobility across multiple mobile devices.
While not security-related, there is also the crucial issue of users being able to access business-critical applications (usually designed for Microsoft Windows) on non-Windows machines.
Addressing all these concerns requires an organization to work with a reliable partner who can provide a solution that works seamlessly for you as you roll out your BYOD program.
Application Virtualization makes BYOD productive.
The key is in finding effective strategies that allow IT departments to deploy BYOD and mixed platform strategies. By using a virtualized application delivery platform like Inuvika OVD Enterprise, organizations can turn any non-PC device into a productive computing device, without resorting to the costly and complex demands of Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI).
OVD Enterprise is an alternative to Citrix and VMware. It lets any organization deliver virtualized Windows and Linux applications to users any device, including Macs, Chromebooks, phones, tablets, thin clients, and any HTML5 browser-based device. Best of all, it does it for half the cost of traditional solutions.
The result is that users can securely access business-critical applications from any device, anywhere. Businesses can also rest assured that their sensitive data remains protected from potential vulnerabilities since the data is safely stored on servers, not on the device itself. Additional security features like granular user rights policies give administrators detailed control over how data is accessed, by whom, and what users may do with it (for example, restricting downloading or printing.)
Get in touch with Inuvika to find out how we can help you implement secure virtualized app solutions, in a cost-effective and straightforward way.