Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

Bring your own device (BOYD) is a recent trend where employees use their personal mobile devices including: iPhones, iPads, tablets computers and smartphones to access company information including your network, email, files and critical business applications. This policy can make your employees more productive. BYOD may save you the expense of buying mobile devices for your employees. However, if not managed appropriately, BYOD may open up security risks in your data protection strategy.

Due to their mobile nature, these mobile devices are susceptible to theft and loss. Also, mobile devices may infect your network with viruses and malware, if they are not properly maintained. Here are some tips to minimize your exposure to employees who BYOD:

Require Passcode to Unlock Device

Requiring a passcode will prevent unintended access to your network or application data in case a user’s mobile device is lost or stolen.

Keep OS/apps Up To Date

To avoid virus and malware attacks on your mobile devices, it is a good policy to keep the operating system up to date with the latest security patches. It is also a good idea to keep your applications up to date to avoid a network security breach.

Don’t Allow “Jailbreaking” of Operating Systems

Some employees may “jailbreak” their iPhones or iPads so they can install additional applications and extensions that may not be available through the Apple Store. Jailbreaking may expose security breaches on these devices creating a weak link in your data protection plan.

Services for Tracking and Wiping

Most mobile devices will automatically check in to their geo-location when they are turned on. There are services that will track a lost or stolen device and even allow you to wipe critical data and applications from the device to disable any unauthorized access to applications and data.

BYOD can make your employees productive and save business expense. If you take advantage of this trend make sure your employees are properly educated and knowledgeable about the risks. Minimize your risks by having a plan and policy for managing these devices if they are connecting to your network in order to avoid security risks.

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