Tackle BYOD Security By Addressing The Source

Digital LockIt is no surprise that given the revolutionary capabilities made possible by mobile solutions, more and more companies are embracing this type of information technology. While the use of mobile devices and applications may offer numerous benefits, chief information officers may be aware of all the heightened security risks that these tools could pose. In light of data protection concerns prompted by mobility, IT executives will want to minimize the likelihood of potential breaches happening, while still ensuring that their organizations are able to take advantage of these advancements.

If CIOs have been paying attention to the news, which has widely publicized instances of hacking against major retailers like Target, they have probably realized that the consequences resulting from cyberattacks can be significant. While companies could be eager to start integrating more mobile technology throughout their day-to-day functions and make the switch to “bring your own device” business practices, they should keep in mind some of the more common risks that could possibly make their sensitive information susceptible to cyberthieves.

Eliminate cause of concern surrounding BYOD
According to Business News Daily, data protection should be a top priority for IT departments for more reasons than one. The main cause for concern among companies may be monetary, as hackers could access confidential account information, which would hurt their businesses. However, the news source pointed out that there is plenty of legal liability for which organizations could be held if cyberthieves get their hands on client data. Executives do not want to find themselves in the middle of a class action, which would leave their companies tied down with all kinds of legal fees and potentially suffering from a blow to their reputations. To stay out of court, CIOs must address all potential problem areas of their BYOD practices that would ultimately leave chinks in their data protection armor, if left overlooked.

The news source explained that risks typically stem from two aspects of BYOD. For starters, the fact that employees are able to readily access sensitive company information using their personal smartphones or tablets could be an issue in and of itself. Additionally, other problems could arise from the possibility of this data falling into the hands of outsiders, which could be the result of these gadgets being hacked. Lastly, information could be obtained by unauthorized personnel if staff members happen to misplace their phones.

Luckily, cybertheft – no matter the aforementioned circumstances – can easily be avoided if IT professionals take some simple steps to defend their data and secure employee devices. Computer Weekly stated that by formulating a comprehensive set of mobile security practices for their representatives to follow, companies and their CIOs can ensure that everyone within their enterprises is on the same page in terms of data security, mitigating a bulk of the risks associated with BYOD.

Target the root by securing data, not devices
It can be an uphill battle to ensure that employees’ personal devices are outfitted withe the proper protective programming. IT executives may want to avoid the overwhelming task of tracking down each representative to ensure that they have the right password protection options activated on all of the gadgets used to access company data, restricting the information that internal personnel and even outsiders can see. Instead, CIOs can cut down on the frustration while still protecting sensitive information by taking a more direct approach and securing the data itself.

To accomplish this, IT professionals should consider implementing mobile application management programs as they defend the information accessed during BYOD tasks. This kind of software allows companies to separate the data and applications manipulated for professional purposes from those employed for personal use. By siloing information and apps, CIOs can enable representatives to tap into their work databases and perform an assortment of tasks from the convenience of their own devices – without subjecting it to potential breaches coming from applications or information stored on the personal side of their smartphones.

By equipping employee devices with MAMs, IT executives could allow for innovative mobile practices throughout their operations and still uphold responsible practices. On top of this, these tech professionals may have a relatively hands-off approach to guaranteeing that devices are secure, which could prevent them from having to meddle and possibly infringe on their employees’ privacy. This would make personnel more receptive of BYOD security practices, further reducing risks of hacking.

Marie Larsen
Marie is a writer for CIOs.com. She has an educational background in languages and literature. She covers IT trends and executive technology management topics for the company.