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BYOD Data Security Becoming Top Priority

Feb 12, 2014 By Sharon Solomon

Today’s booming technology and internet revolution has caused a new problem for CISOs and InfoSec Managers. Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is the growing phenomenon of employees bringing personal smartphones (BYOP) and laptops/tablets (BYOPC) to work, causing a wide array of communication and security issues.

Most IT companies have embraced the latest technological trend, believing that this eventually improves worker productivity. But the security aspect is hugely neglected and can lead to major security breaches and compromise valuable data.

While the abundance of computing devices and constant switching of networks can be risky, proper regulation can limit the risks involved. With hacking techniques and malware distribution getting smarter, countermeasures must be taken immediately.

Most secure workplaces provide their employees with an encrypted WiFi signal. While this is a safe practice, the password is not always a “well-kept secret”, enabling outsiders to latch on to the network. This huge security threat can be eliminated by defining clear rules. Workers should be directed not to leak or share the company login details.

Mobile apps have changed the way people work. Personal smartphones and tablets can be used to access emails and access sensitive information. This becomes a riskier habit when workers install pirate ROM’s or jailbreak their smartphones, turning security into an afterthought. Mobile usage is the the Achilles heel of Information Security.

CISOs and InfoSec Managers must take the following steps to combat BYOD perils:

  • Employees should be able to access sensitive data only via a Virtual Private Network (VPN). Workers should also be asked not to share the login details with outsiders.
  • Workers with access to sensitive information should be provided with adequate computing devices and solutions. A smart security investment that eliminates personal devices from the equation.
  • Proper end-points bandwidth management and allocation solutions should be implemented, along with proper monitoring of IP addresses and conflicts.
  • Make sure all worker’s computers and mobile devices are up-to-date with the latest software updates and security patches. More and more vulnerabilities are usually eliminated with each update.

BYOD can be made safer with appropriate safety measures and close supervision of the workers in touch with sensitive data. The huge boom in the mobile and tablet industry over the last few years has made these practices unavoidable. Information Security Officials have to adapt fast. Defining clear and strict BYOD policy is crucial to a secure network.

Source – Perils Of BYOD Data Security

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Sharon Solomon

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