What is BYOD?

BYOD is the acronym for Bring Your Own Device. It is a practice to allow employees to use their own personal devices like smartphones, laptops and computers for work purposes. Some users use their personal devices instead of the devices provided by the organization while others use them in addition to the company-owned devices. The commoness of BYOD is taking an elevated rise as users find it easy to use and navigate within their own devices while they also have the convenience of upgrading to the latest technology. However, the use of BYOD devices become more effective only when the BYOD devices fall under a specific set of corporate policies.

BYOD can also be termed BYOT (Bring your Own Technology)

BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)
BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)

What BYOD does and Why is BYOD Important?

The IT employees who use their personal tablets, smartphones and laptops are self-sufficient as they upgrade and stay updated with new technology which is not the same with the corporate devices. Corporate devices lack the advancement in technology and are therefore inadequate to help users work better. The ease of use, work from anywhere and anytime with the latest technology in hand are some of the factors influencing the users to shift from corporate devices to BYOD devices.

BYOD Security – Understanding Bring Your Own Device Security Risks

When there are a lot of good things to talk about BYOD, there are also equal amount of security risks associated with BYOD.

BYOD Challenges

BYOD brings you many advantages for both the organization and the employees – as it enhances the efficiency and convenience. Nevertheless, what might be useful and convenient for us can equally be convenient for the online fraudsters who are lurking around the virtual space to find and exploit weak sources. Therefore it is very evident that BYOD is prone to a number of security risks that can create an impact on the IT infrastructure and data of the enterprises and users as well. There are a set of factors that influences the possibilities of BYOD risks.

When a personal device shares both personal and corporate information, it becomes challenging to maintain a balanced security control and to set separate privacy for each of the corporate and personal data.

It is not easy for the IT departments and the security experts to support various versions of phone OSes that are biased to constant upgrade in line with the advancement in technology. Smartphones are high levels of target by the hackers as they have high increased memory and enhanced processing power and therefore increased transmission of data, operating systems with third-party extensible.

Hardware – With company-owned devices, the IT admin is entitled to have control over the devices connected to the corporate network. It also scrutinized and checked if it meets compliance needs of the organization. Companies provide devices and phones to the employees that are configured to meet security policies by default.

Malware – Employees bringing their own devices to work, which has other personal apps, information and other business information too, hackers find ways to sneak through untrusted apps gather all the sensitive business data. Personal devices can be at high risk from cyber security risks and therefore when the employees use the infected device to access business information, there can be a major security breach.

Data Exfilitration – Data Leakage can happen due to various reasons. If a device is lost or stolen, hackers can identify a backdoor to sneak into the device to gain access to sensitive corporate data. If there are no adequate security measures implemented to encrypt and protect data, the hacker can easily steal the confidential data. There is yet another scenario, when the corporate information are sent to the user’s personal contacts by mistake.

BYOD mostly contains bank account details, passwords, credit card data, social security number and so on. There are also chances of employees to share confidential data to hackers for monetary benefits. There is yet another scenario, in which the employees transfer mobile devices to other employee or user without removing the confidential data and that might create a possibilities for the hacker to gain access to the data in the device.

Hackers can Infiltrate System – There can be network resource overload as there are a number of mobile devices connected to the corporate network, and the resources can be exhausted while they make the network unavailable to the actual genuine users. The usage of smartphones of gone high and this has resulted in network congestion through overload of signalling and minimal data capacity.

What is Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Policy

A BYOD or Bring Your Own Device Policy defines a set of rules to govern the level of support that is provided by the IT departments of any organization to have a check on the employee-owned personal devices like laptops, tablets, smartphones and PCs. The BYOD policy varies from user to user, depending on the roles and functions of the users. Rules are framed and defined as per the application and software requirements specific to the user.

The impact of consumer-oriented technology on enterprises has brought in the need of BYOD policy deployment. Employees implement the use of personally owned devices for organization-related tasks and therefore take control of the usage and hence reduce security risks.

Benefits of BYOD to an Organization

Satisfied Employees: Employees are satisfied with the use of their devices – as they find it convenient and familiar to navigate within the device.
Cost Savings: Organizations find ways to bring down their costs. Implementing the use of BYOD policy helps organization to reduce investments on resources and therefore results in savings
Better Productivity and Innovation: Satisfied employees are a key to business’ success as they stay productive to perform better. Employees master the use of their own gadgets and find their devices more convenient and user-friendly all equipped with the latest technology. A successful business relies on three factors – well equipped employees, happy employees and productive employees – BYOD gives it all..
Avoids stress on IT: Employees are responsible for the maintenance and support of their own devices. Therefore there is less pressure on the IT admins while they can focus on the other important work.

BYOD Mobile Device Management (MDM) Solutions for Enterprises

When we consider enterprise data security, deploying a BYOD with BYOD policies is just not the solution. So an ideal BYOD plan comes along with an effective MDM plan by default to ensure absolute enterprise data security. A BYOD without MDM can potentially expose your organization to critical and sensitive data that can pull down the reputation of the organization.

MDM solutions are important to elevate and strengthen the security and policy concerns when deploying BYOD.

Mobile Device Management enables advanced level of control over user-owned devices. There is a serious concern with BYOD devices as it is at a loss of control by the organization’s IT departments. BYOD implementation requires complex configurations and different device settings that can directly create negative impacts on the availability and security.

They reduce the risks that are involved through lost or stolen devices. Employees use their personal devices to access and store corporate information on their personal devices, however in case if the device is lost or stolen, it can cause data loss. MDM enables the users with a remote wipe feature, this would be favourable when the user misplaces the devices with corporate data. It helps the users to erase all the data and hence the cyber criminals do not access to the confidential corporate information.

MDM solutions help in segregating personal and corporate data by entitling the organization to take control over the data and applications that are stored and accessed by the users from their personal devices for business purposes.

BYOD Pros and Cons

BYOD pros:

  • Users bare the cost for the equipment
  • Users have the option to choose the devices as per their convenience
  • Enhanced Mobility
  • Flexibility
  • Assures increased user productivity as users are comfortable using their own devices

BYOD cons:

  • No control over the BYOD devices and is left un-managed
  • Issues regarding compartibility
  • High Exposure to potential security risks
  • Support becomes complex and challenging in a diverse environment

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