Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Programs and Enterprise Security Risks
Lessening the cost of mobile devices and providing flexibility for employees, Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) programs have been shown to work for many enterprises. The concern with these programs is that these employee furnished devices can require additional wireless help desk support and more robust mobile security policies.
Most experts and analysts agree that mobile device management and security are not areas to be lenient with when it comes to BYOD programs. Corporate data can be more at risk when technology isn't designed to support corporate compliance with enterprise security policies, but it doesn't mean that BYOD programs are less preferable.
The security risks involved with personal mobile devices are preventable if the appropriate steps are taken to secure these mobile devices with a strong mobile policy and Mobile Device Management (MDM) and Mobile Application Management (MAM) technologies. For example, a good mobile device security policy would force privately owned phones and other devices under the same IT governance and management as those corporately owned.
One of the first policies in mobile device security would be to enforce password protection on all devices, allowing only employees owning the devices to access them. Data encryption can also be utilized on most devices, along with lock and selective wipe programs which can be initiated remotely to prevent data from being stolen. Secure mobile network connections can also be achieved with strict Access Control systems preventing outside intrusions. All the security implementations in an effective security system should allow employee and corporate privacy, without the two conflicting with or compromising each other.
Proper Mobile Device Management keeps smartphones, tablets, and other devices used by employees protected while company costs are decreased. BYOD programs can allow corporate data to be stored and accessed easily, while security remains up-to-date with the policies used for other corporate device programs. Mobile Application Management systems allow for company network administrators to choose which applications are accessible and which are not, and will let the employees know what constitutes violation of company policy.
BYOD programs may pose more of a general mobile device security risk when it comes to data protection, but with a solid security policy and an MDM/MAM solution to enforce that policy, the risks shouldn't compromise these programs' overall efficiency.