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BYOD=Bring your own disaster?

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There are not many, but I am one of a rare breed, a Florida Native. Along with the demise of the orange grove, the business workplaces in Orlando have changed too. They extend beyond the working hours, beyond the cubicles.

Whether you are commuting to work on the dreaded I-4 corridor or even vacationing on one of our sunny Florida beaches, chances are you or your employees take a break from the break to reply to those important emails that require ‘immediate action.’ Plus, there may even be employees who are not also on the same continent as you. What does all this mean for your business in terms of IT security? Does BYOD translate to bring your own disaster to work? This blog explores the risks of BYOD culture and offers tips on how you can avoid them.

When you adopt a BYOD culture at your business, you are opening the virtual floodgates to all kind of malware and phishing attacks.

  • Your employee may be storing work-related data on their personal devices and then clicking a malicious link they received on their personal email or (even WhatsApp in case of tablets or smartphones) and put your entire network at risk.
  • Secondly, you cannot control how your employees use their personal devices. They may connect to unauthorized networks, download unauthorized software programs, use outdated antivirus programs etc,.
  • Even something as simple and harmless as the free wifi at the coffee shop can spell danger for your data.

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Data Cube Systems Orlando IT
Bring Your Own Device to Work

First of all, if you have decided to adopt the BYOD culture in your organization, ensure you have a strong BYOD policy in place. It should cover the dos and don’ts and define boundaries and responsibilities related to the BYOD environment.

It also makes sense for you to invest in robust antivirus software and mandate those employees following the BYOD model to install it. You can also conduct device audits to ensure your employee’s devices are up-to-date in terms of software, security and firewall requirements to the extent that they are safe for work purpose.

And one of the most important aspects–train your employees on the best practices related to basic data security, access, and BYOD environments. This will ensure that they don’t make mistakes that prove costly to you. You can conduct mock drills, tests, and certifications and provide the BYOD privilege to only those who clear your tests. You could also use positive and negative reinforcements to ensure everyone takes it seriously.

BYOD is excellent in terms of the flexibility it lends to both–the employer and the employee, and the trend is here to stay. It is up to businesses to ensure it helps more than it can hurt.

Forbes has an article on BYOD policies that you might find interesting.

At the end of the day, your companies security is paramount.

Examples

It doesn’t take much searching on the web to come up with examples of data breaches linked to BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). ZomatoDeloitte

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