BYOD Policy of Protecting Personal Devices


February 1, 2015
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BYOD-policy

Bring your own device (BYOD) has spearheaded the consumerization of IT. The challenge moving forward is trying to extend endpoint security to personal devices, which are now being ubiquitously used in the workforce and accessing corporate data.

There needs to be a robust, pragmatic BYOD policy that can safeguard the personal data of end-users and bolster the security layers of corporate data. The latest studies by MSI Research, who did the Intel Security-backed survey, found that 80% of respondents use their work-issued devices for personal activities, and correspondingly used their personal devices for work-related tasks.

Using consumer devices interchangeably signifies the interlinked nature of both worlds and how boundaries are overlapping. Work is no longer restricted to the office. Work happens whenever and wherever, and with any device. Most people are glued to their personal, handheld devices to check up on work-related activities, such as incoming emails, quickly reviewing the presentation on their iPads or connecting with co-workers half-way around the world to discuss strategies, using technologies like Skype on their Lenovo laptops.

The borderless, semi-officiated and free-flowing world of data exchanges can mean that corporate data will enter into unprotected realms, and can be exploited by malicious sources. The study showed that 65% of those survived believe that IT departments were also responsible for safeguarding their own personal data that they were using at work, and not just the company data. This study underscores the paradigm shift in expectations of responsibilities: that if the workplace wants their employees to us their personal devices for work-related matters, they want to ensure that IT protects their personal data.

BYOD policy

The fast-paced and interconnected business world is persuading more companies to implement BYOD policy to keep up with fast-rising innovations in the consumer world. BYOD is now a major part of IT services, which solution providers like Fidelity IT Soultions manages. These devices have made sweeping changes to the way we work. Many employees utilize social media and shop online on their work devices, and other risky online behaviours that may compromise corporate systems with third-party, malicious content.

While data protection is often the foremost priority for IT and the lines between your personal space and the workspace converge in the age of BYOD, the prospects of BYOD to drive productivity, collaboration and responsiveness should not be understated. While the threat of data leaks, viruses and malware are always present, a clear BYOD policy can alleviate such anxieties and threats. The BYOD policy can focus on setting guidelines for end-users, such as only accessing corporate data through specific and security-layered networks.

Companies can build-up and create built-in preventative measures that will protect their corporate data and the personal data that is exposed on devices that are used in the workplace. The study showed that 77% feel confident that employers are protecting their data. This false sense of confidence in IT’s ability to safeguard and protect data, means that the employee is less likely to take their own and extra measures to protect their data.

An important security measure that companies can take is to encrypt data from the source to the endpoint. In file-sharing ecosystems, a marketplace that permits the transfer of data exchanges, files could be in disparate locations at same time. If your systems are hacked or the devices are stolen, encrypted data protects access to the corporate data. The important aspect of end-to-end encryption also protects your data when used in unprotected Wi-Fi locations.

While the latest trend and growth spurt of the consumerization of IT has resulted in notable developments in cooperation, working productively on multiple frontlines and away from the office, it is critical that SMBs keep up and bolster security layers to protect the inner-workings and data of your company. IT needs to integrate better BYOD policy (policies) that will better protect users and protect personal data on personal devices, and not just key-in on what is happening with corporate data.

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