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National Technologies Group

National Technologies Group has been serving the Sydney area since 1994, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Be Sure to Consider the Risks of BYOD

b2ap3_thumbnail_BringYourOwn400.jpgThe Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) revolution is a technology that is here to stay. More and more company work is being done on personal devices. A recent survey found that one in four devices used in the workplace are either smartphones or tablets. While BYOD does make business more convenient, it is also not without risks.

Anytime an unsecure device accesses your network, you are putting your company's data at risk. These network security risks are not felt with workstations--they don't go anywhere and you can put as much security on your computers as you need. When it comes to BYOD, the potential exists for an unscanned device to access your network, allowing your sensitive information to be downloaded and carried away.

There are some companies that think it is better to be safe than sorry and they will go ahead and ban all employees from bringing in their personal devices. In theory, this may seem like a smart move, but in reality, this will make employees feel untrusted. On top of this, honest surveys have shown that roughly one third of employees will bring in their personal device and use it for work purposes even if it has been banned.

A more reasonable approach is to ban the use of certain applications that pose security risks. This can be done by blocking access to these apps from your network altogether. In 2012, IBM took this BYOD security measure with all 400,000 of their employees. IBM was concerned about data leaks and banned the popular cloud storage service Dropbox, as well as Apple's voice assistant Siri. It's your network; you can ban any app that you feel is a threat to your company. If you need help deciding which popular apps are the most risky for your business, then call National Technologies Group at +61295186000.

When it comes to BYOD, you will need to have firm security policies in place that are well thought out and updated regularly. It takes a little bit of effort to properly set up your network for BYOD, but the benefits are worth it when you consider that it improves employees productivity and saves you the expense of purchasing mobile devices for your employees. Here are a few major security steps from network security company SOPHOS that you will want to consider before setting up your network for BYOD.

  • Identify the risks and vulnerabilities that BYOD introduces to your network security.
  • Make policies to cover these risks and find ways to enforce them.
  • Build a project plan to give your network these capabilities: remote device management, application control, policy compliance and audit reports, data and device encryption, augmenting cloud storage security, wiping devices when retired, revoking access to devices when end-user relationship changes from employee to guest, and revoking access to devices when employees are terminated.
  • Evaluate how these solutions will impact your network and then implement them.
  • Begin allowing BYOD with a test group, evaluate, and then expand BYOD to more users.
  • Periodically reassess these solutions in light of new applications, new risks, and new cost-saving solutions that are made available.

You will want to set up your network correctly to handle the new risks that come from BYOD. If this is the first time that you have considered BYOD for your network, then don't be deterred by these risks. By taking proper precautions, you can safely have employees use their own devices to get company work done. If you would like help getting your network setup to handle BYOD, then give National Technologies Group a call at +61295186000.

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Thursday, 19 September 2019
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