In a latest statement by the research firm IDC- Close to 155 million consumer smartphones will be used in the BYOD model across the Asia-Pacific region (excluding Japan) in 2014. IDC studies reveals that mobile devices used under the BYOD model have accounted for 22.5%, 4.9% and 11.7% of all consumer Smartphone, Tablet and Notebook PC shipped in 2013, respectively.
To understand the above, let us understand what BYOD is?
BYOD, or bring your own device, is a widely adopted phrase that refers to employees who bring their own computing devices in their workplace – such as smartphones, laptops and PDAs. BYOD is making significant growth in the business world, according to the “BYOD – Research findings”, about 75% of employees in high growth markets such as Brazil and Russia and 44% in developed markets are already using their own technology at work.
The IDC findings clearly say that the Asia Pacific region is gradually becoming more open to the idea of BYOD as a way to drive mobility in their organizations. Moreover, to enhance business agility, organizations will permit their workforce to bring in their personal devices and provide them access to enterprise applications in the coming years.
With more and more employees wanting to connect their personally owned devices to corporate infrastructure, IT admins have to come up with an accurate balance between providing services and securing access.
Nowadays, employees expect to use their personal devices at work, making BYOD security a concern for IT teams. Many organizations that permit their employees to use their own devices at work implement a BYOD security policy. This is because, the arrival of BYOD have exposed organization to potential threats that may enter through the network cracks due of employee negligence.
According to a Ponemon Institute study, the company’s own employees are the biggest threat to company data. Data-loss can occur if an employee’s device is stolen or not sufficiently secured from data-stealing malware. The same study also shows that employee negligence is the root of many data breaches. As per the same study employees risk losing important company data through their personal devices via the following means:
- Connecting to unsecure wireless networks
- Downloading and installing unapproved apps
- Visiting possibly malicious websites
- Leaving the mobile device unattended
- These, along with accidental loss of the actual device, pose serious risks to an SMB’s data.
As hackers have expanded their reach, apart from desktops they are targeting mobile devices too. These hackers make use of data-stealing malware that allows them to log, steal, and publish nearly everything an employee does on his/her mobile device. Such malware can make a way to a potential data breach.
However, smaller organizations have a relatively higher rate of data breaches, mainly due to employee negligence or due to accidental loss of actual device. SMBs must understand that mobile devices (If used at workplace) need the same level of protection like the desktops, to avoid such breaches and adjust the security policies accordingly. Having a compromised business smartphone is like giving the hacker complete access to the important company information.
To protect your company from such potential threat, follow the below:
- Make a plan; find out the loopholes that may occur from the adoption of BYOD for your business.
- Set and use BYOD security policy to ensure complete protection.
- Determine which personal devices should be used by employees for official work.
- Configure your employee’s device with passwords.
- Restrict specific unsafe types of applications from being downloaded or used on the device.
- Data stored on the device to be encrypted.
- Limit personal activities of the employees on these devices at work.