BYOD – do you know where your content is?

Posted by Kevin Flanigan

BYOD

When employees improperly use mobile devices, they put their companies at risk for data breaches. This includes leaving lots of sensitive data on the devices—which can pave the way to leakage of data, plus other issues.

Mobile device use in workplaces is increasing—and so are the associated security risks. Current security measures are lagging behind the increased rate of mobile device use in the corporate realm.

One study not only showed that a lot of company information was left on handsets, but personal information as well was left on, putting employees at risk for personal compromises.

This small study demonstrates a clear need for improved guidelines and policies governing smartphone use and security of the devices. This becomes even more relevant as businesses turn more to cloud storage for data.

Non-approved software-as-a-service (SaaS) apps, used by employees, is widespread, according to a McAfee study. These apps are not approved by the company’s IT department. Employees can easily bypass the IT department by using the cloud. The study showed: 

  • Over 80 percent of survey participants reported using unauthorized SaaS apps.
  • About 35 percent of SaaS apps used on the job are not approved.
  • About 15 percent of users have had a security problem using SaaS.

Employees may not realize that their chosen SaaS apps are poorly safeguarded. Such employees aren’t malicious; they’re just trying to be more efficient. Businesses need to find the right balance of protecting themselves yet allowing employees to use apps for increased productivity.

An ideal situation would be to monitor SaaS apps and apply policies that do not inhibit employees’ ability to be productive.  The content itself could have been wrapped in a security blanket.

This would have offered the ability to:

  • Digitally stamp the script with dynamic watermarking identifying the viewer by name and email address (to prevent workarounds such as screenshot-taking);
  • Restrict viewing access based on receiver’s email address, geographical location, or device used (laptop, mobile phone, tablet, etc.);
  • Control sharing, saving, printing capabilities via custom settings for each intended receiver; and
  • See exactly who viewed the script, when (and for how long) they accessed the material, what device they used to look at it, whether or not they forwarded or printed the material (if that permission was granted to them by the sender.) 

The Bring Your Own Device movement is no longer a small consideration - it’s something
your business needs to address. Fortunately, there is a lot of expertise being generated about the best way to deploy and manage BYOD in enterprises. From data ownership considerations to online industry survey, here are a few key item to keep in mind on BYOD.  

BYOD Devices are Expected to Double by the end of 2014 

According to Computer Weekly, device usage is going to double in the next year. However, they also; point out that only 5% of the smartphones and devices have the necessary security software installed, underscoring the need for a content security solution before you implement BYOD. 

Are you Considering or Implementing BYOD? Then ask you self these questions.

Is your organization prepared to address?

Support cost – Even your tech savvy employees may not know exactly how to make business applications work properly, or how to utilize maintenance techniques. Thus causing big problems for you and your IT team.

Hardware Compatibility – Is the device capable of handling the task required of the job.  Along with ensuring the hardware is capable of holding tough, make sure you handle which device you will even allow used.  Managing different smartphones can be tricky.

Legal Risk – When your employees bring personal devices into work, what happens if the device gets lost, with your customers critical data on the device?   What if the device brings virus into the company’s network? Or worst your clients’ network. 

BYOD Solutions Require Mobile Data Management 

Adopting a mobile device management solution as a stop gap - instead of a strategic move - is a bad idea for CIOs. Research the mistakes IT Department that embrace BYOD early on made and what worked when shifting from one location management to multiple mobile devices offsite. 

When BYOD is Used Who Owns the Data?

When personal devices are used for business purposes, there’s a blending of personal data and business data - so who owns that content?  You have blended data on the device, are there ways that enterprises can protect their data without infringing on personal property. 

Make Sure Your BYOD Policy is Complete 

BYOD policies help keep your organization and your employees safe. But navigating the ins and outs of policies can be difficult, particularly if your organization is new to allowing personal devices for corporate use. There are many essential elements that go into a successful BYOD policy, do your research!

  10 Things to Consider Before Racing to Digital Content

 

Topics: Secure Content

  

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