The remote workforce continues to be a dominant force for modern enterprises seeking to squeeze productivity out of employees, while reducing their real estate footprint and overall utility costs. The 21st Century workforce equips themselves with high-tech tablets or laptops, and work from home, a corner coffee shop, or a coworking space. This gives employees the freedom to work in an environment where they can be most productive in.
Since many companies do not have the revenue required to provide the necessary tech devices for their remote workers, they often implement a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy to save on the added fixed overhead costs. As more enterprises shift to a BYOD environment, they must understand how additional vulnerabilities can find their way into their network, unless these devices are reined in with a full-fledged BYOD enterprise program. Let’s review the key elements of a BYOD program and how it can secure companies with a dispersed and mobile workforce.
How Vulnerable Can BYOD Make Your Enterprise?
BYOD means that data is frequently being accessed remotely; far outside of an organization’s network perimeter. This fundamental shift in “where” and “how” data is stored, used, accessed, and shared demands a different approach to security. This is especially true since 40% of mobile devices now used for work are getting exposed to an attack in the first four months of use. 40% of respondents to a 2014 Ponemon Institute study also said that failing to manage their mobile devices resulted in non-compliance and/or regulatory violations for their organization. Are you currently at risk?
Cyber-attackers have been targeting corporate mobile devices even when devices are encrypted, even when the systems are migrated to the cloud. Although this keeps employees from storing sensitive company and customer data on a physical machine, it leaves them without a physical security perimeter to protect the data. This can lead to vulnerabilities that if not addressed quickly and effectively, could spell the demise of the organization (sometimes without anyone even realizing resources have been stolen for quite some time).
Keep Your BYOD Program Scalable and Flexible
The rapid adoption of BYOD means that data is no longer kept safe behind on-premises firewalls and other traditional perimeter security tools. If you use a BYOD security application, make sure it can be painlessly installed on new devices and that the BYOD policy spells out each employee’s rights and responsibilities in a way that they can agree with and buy into. After all, there may be some inconveniences to security, but the benefit of having the flexibility to work from home, may be a significant tradeoff. The BYOD policy should also specify the acceptable device use and define the procedure for when a device goes missing, or when an employee leaves the company.
Protecting data in transit is significantly tricky, however focusing on data encryption to encode your data with a secure PIN or key will let you manage company data while keeping user information private. This allows admins to have full control over the data and who is interacting with it even while it is floating around a peer-to-peer network or in the enterprise cloud.
The Right BYOD Program Solution for Your Enterprise
As the demand for BYOD increases, you need to weigh which security strategies are right for your organization. By implementing the appropriate security measures for your enterprise BYOD program, it will ultimately allow for greater flexibility and scalability as further technology is adopted for use in your ever-growing distributed workforce. If your organization needs a BYOD policy, Convergent Mission Solutions can assess your organization and help develop a policy that works for your business.