The risks of a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy

The risks of a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy

The bring your own device (BYOD) strategy, which includes allowing employees to bring and use their own devices to the workplace, remains both a major opportunity and a challenge for enterprises. As it continues to thrive, you’ll need to develop an effective BYOD policy and follow the right approach to identifying both its benefits and risks.

In our previous post, we discussed how businesses and employees can benefit from BYOD, and although it can boost your work environment, this policy can open doors to new risks and exposures. To avoid these risks, you must understand what they entail.

Most of the risks around BYOD involve security and privacy concerns. Such are:

  • Loss of control and visibility of business data – loss of control and visibility of business data that is being transmitted, stored, and processed on a personal device. Susceptibility to man-in-the-middle (MitM) attacks and eavesdropping at public Wi-Fi hotspots often used by remote workers poses similar risks.
  • Data exposure – potential data leakage or disclosure of enterprise data from an unsecured device
  • Physical loss or device theft – lost and stolen devices could result in the compromise of sensitive data
  • Unauthorized use of BYOD by a third party – unauthorized use of BYOD by a third party such as family or friends at home
  • Malicious apps – devices that allow push notifications or enable location-based services, for example, could lead to compromised device integrity. A malicious application may be able to sniff, modify, or steal inter-application messages. Additionally, even apps from official app stores could be suspicious and install rogue apps that could gain root access to mobile devices via bypassing security restrictions.

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Tips for ensuring data security

For a successful BYOD policy, you should be able to handle the challenges that come with it and balance employee freedom, app functionality, and data security. Here are some tips to help you secure your BYOD policy:

  • Implement an official BYOD policy – Many organizations run their BYOD programs without rules or guidelines. From the beginning, there should be a formal onboarding process before an employee’s device is allowed to access company data.
  • Protect the data that employees access via their devices – While BYOD devices used in personal settings will invariably store company data, you should ensure that data is properly encrypted by security solutions.
  • Give your employees controlled access to information they need – To minimize the impact of a potential data breach, you should limit the access you give to your employees. For example, your human resource department should be granted access to HR files, but they should not have access to files from your sales department.
  • Train and educate your employees – Educate and train your employees on proper security protocols and make sure you dictate required enrollments. If they are aware of the risks, they know what to watch out for. Even something as simple as remote wiping a stolen or lost device can go a long way.

Planning and implementing a BYOD policy can take up a lot of time and resources. That’s where we can help! Call us today and we’ll help you build a BYOD policy that’s secure and designed to help your business grow.

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