Mobile technology has drastically changed the way we live. As a result, many people have “cut the cord” in their homes and now rely solely on smart devices. Because of this, businesses are now adopting the bring your own device (BYOD) culture. But BYOD also opens your organization up to cybersecurity risks. Here’s how you can improve BYOD security.
Whether your employees are using smartphones, tablets, or laptops, you need a BYOD security policy.
Be aware of the key BYOD security risks:
- Loss or theft of device – Employees often bring their devices wherever they go. Meaning there’s a higher chance of a device being lost or stolen. Leading to a higher risk of compromised data.
- Data loss – If a device is lost, stolen, or damaged, any locally stored data may be lost if it’s not backed up.
- Man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks – Public Wi-Fi spots are convenient for getting some work done. Still, they’re also popular hunting grounds for cybercriminals who use MITM to intercept transmitted data over public networks.
- Jailbroken devices – Jailbreaking is the process of removing the manufacturer restrictions on a device, typically to allow the installation of third-party software. It can also increase the risk of an employee inadvertently installing malicious software on their device.
- Security vulnerabilities – Every operating system (and the software that runs on it) has its own set of security flaws and weaknesses, which means that allowing staff to use any device increases the risk of a data breach or malware infection.
- Malware – A personal device infected with malware can spread that malware to other devices connected to the company network causing data loss and downtime.
To avoid risks, it’s vital to have a BYOD security policy in place. This policy should be one that not only works for your business but for employees as well. Here are some tips:
Make passwords compulsory on all BYOD devices
Prevent unauthorized access to company data by enforcing the use of passwords on all BYOD devices. Passwords should be long and unique.
Create a blacklist of prohibited applications
Blacklisting involves banning the installation of certain applications on BYOD devices used for work purposes. Applications such as file sharing and social networking apps. The simplest way to blacklist applications is through a mobile device management platform that enables IT administrators to secure and enforce policies on devices.
Restrict data access
Adopt the principle of least privilege on both BYOD and company devices. Meaning that a user can access only the data and software required to do their job. By doing this, you can significantly reduce the effects of certain types of malware and limit the fallout in the event of a data breach.
Invest in reliable security solutions for devices
Protect BYOD devices with reputable antivirus software to identify and stop threats before they can make changes to the device. This is a vital step for protecting mission-critical data and avoiding downtime.
Backing up device data
A well-thought-out BYOD policy can go a long way toward minimizing the risk of a security breach. However, if something manages to slip past your defenses, you need a process in place for restoring your data to its former state. Have a comprehensive backup strategy to ensure that any data stored locally on a BYOD device can be recovered quickly.
Educate your staff about security
The vast majority of BYOD-related security risks involve human error. Educate your employees about proper mobile safety. You can show users how to spot apps that could contain malware, sharing security threat updates, and teaching them how to secure their devices by going beyond default security settings.
It’s also a great idea to work with an IT partner like us. As experts, we keep tabs on the latest trends and innovations related to BYOD and will recommend solutions that work for your company. Contact us today to see how we can help.