From: Marc Begg, Sales director, Peak-Ryzex
Sir – BYOD has sometimes been labelled ‘bring your own disaster’, but is that with good reason? It certainly has the potential to give IT managers a headache, through damage to or infiltration of the company’s IT infrastructure, and the trend is not going away.
However, BYOD should be viewed as part of an ongoing mobility strategy and not just as an isolated issue. With the increased use of personal smartphones and tablets to access enterprise data in the workplace, IT managers should be looking at their whole mobility situation now rather than when problems happen.
Putting a BYOD plan in place immediately, as part of your mobile strategy, will help to protect corporate data. It would be great if you can employ a chief mobility officer (CMO) to make those ‘anything that moves’ decisions relating to bringing devices into the workspace. If not, think about outsourcing your mobile technology management to a trusted partner. Both options ensure that you have a plan to manage any mobility-related issues, including networks, line-of-business applications, devices and security issues that can leave organisations open to a cyber attack.
Allocate a BYOD security budget now; it’s the horse and stable door scenario as it’s better to prevent a security breach than having to find a budget to clean up afterwards. Training your employees on best practices and having a security policy from the outset will also help to avoid these costly situations.
Many companies don’t realise that missing devices account for nearly half the security breaches. The key goal is to strike the right balance between making employees aware of potential security risks without compromising their privacy as their own data has to be considered as well. Don’t open up your whole network; be selective by working on a ‘need to access’ basis and protecting your corporate data on the device, not all of the device’s data.
Mobile device management (MDM) solutions can be useful tools when it comes to developing configuring security, encrypting corporate data and, when necessary, remotely wiping a lost or stolen device of that corporate data, but not necessarily the individual’s data.
With mobility trends and the consumerisation of IT expected to accelerate, it’s a good time to look at your mobility strategy, with BYOD as a key component. Remember, your aim should be to mobilise the user and not just the application.