Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) The Pros and Cons

There are many benefits of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). These include reduced cost of equipment to the business, increased employee satisfaction and efficiencies, less office space required (should the employee be truly mobile) as well as a decrease in the burden on IT support staff as the employee maintains their own equipment.

Unfortunately, with these benefits, comes risk. BYOD policies potentially expose security vulnerabilities as employee-owned devices are not directly managed or maintained by IT staff or beholden to the corporate antivirus solutions.

This is where mobile device management is critical. Tablets and smartphones are arguably less secure than you desktop PC and laptop because they don’t have the pre-installed antivirus and malware protection. Most computers include at least an antivirus suite (especially in the business space), but for mobile gadgets, individual users and IT Managers are on their own to search for and install suitable mobile endpoint security management and have it enforced.

This vulnerability has not escaped the attention of hackers, who are unleashing new creative threats like SMS text based attacks on a daily basis.

Old-school viruses, while annoying and disruptive, are nothing compared to the damage being caused by these new threats and approaches to cybercrime like Trojans, keyloggers, phishing attacks and a wide variety of malicious apps.

While it is impossible to enforce a ban on these devices, there are options available to business to ensure you are protected and you can maintain security of your environment…even on a tight budget.

  • the first step is to establish an IT usage policy regarding these devices in the workplace. This policy should include what is acceptable use, what applications are forbidden, and how to avoid dangerous activities such as browsing questionable sites while connected to the company’s wi-fi.
  • Next is to evaluate current systems you have in place to see if the can be adjusted to include BYOD devices through password enforcement, remote wiping and protective measures
  • if however the quantity of devices and sensitivity of data requires a more robust solution, the use of a Mobile Device Management (MDM) package makes sense. MDM provides a centralised platform to manage all your devices including BYOD. This option is highly recommended if IT staff are spending a large amount of time securing smartphones, tablets and personal laptops, or even to just keep up with the variety¬†of new devices and threats.

If you are looking for an IT Usage policy, need to establish tighter BYOD controls, or looking for a MDM solution contact us today.

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Contact us today to discuss your BYOD policy and how to better protect your IT environment

Enquire now!