The fear of service cessation due to the COVID-19 pandemic left thousands of companies with no choice but to require employees to secure their own devices to continue working. However, with such a decision comes BYOD security risks.
There is much to learn about BYOD practices. On top of the bring your own device (BYOD) to work security issues, here are other BYOD risks you need to understand so you can protect your company.
6 BYOD Risks and Issues
Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is both an opportunity and a challenge for many companies. Yes, companies no longer need to spend on employees’ devices, but the risk they are bound to take may cost them even more.
Now, 83% of companies are turning to BYOD, and the market could rise to $367 billion this year. With the growing popularity of BYOD, companies should be all the more aware of the risks it entails.
Social media, email, internet browsing, and cell phones/texting are among the most common productivity killers in the workplace. Using personal devices, even during work hours, is inevitable and expected when implementing BYOD.
Employees' productivity drops for every minute of their work hours spent on personal matters. Consequently, companies could also lose money. As such, many companies now leverage productivity trackers to monitor and limit the use of work hours on personal matters. Doing so also helps in checking employees’ work ethics and billable hours.
Data Theft and Data Breach
The biggest concern of employers when implementing BYOD is exposing highly-sensitive corporate data on employees’ personal devices. The risk doubles when the data security is weak, if not completely lacking.
Data theft and data breaches could seriously impact your business operations and finances. IBM has reported that in 2022, the average cost of a data breach reached $4.35 million. The loss of critical data may upend your services to your client. Worse, the loss of personal data may cost you the trust of your clients, not to mention millions of dollars.
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Thus, companies seek the help of enterprise mobility management (EMM) solution vendors. With EMM tools, platform, or software to add security and encryption to their network, companies can mitigate unwanted and unmerited theft.
Device Loss or Theft
Married to data theft and data breach is device loss or theft. You can easily replace a lost device, but the data stored in that device poses the biggest problem.
Data breaches often happen on stolen devices. Despite security features, today’s technology allows malicious computer users to access corporate data stored on their devices.
Currently, anti-theft devices and trackers are available. Using the most potent form of security, such as fingerprint recognition, can also help protect data in case of device theft.
Meanwhile, a mobile device management (MDM) solution can help you access a lost device and wipe out all the data before it falls into the wrong hands.
Unprecedented Expansion of IoT
IoTs present considerable opportunities to almost all companies. However, it also poses disadvantages, especially regarding security.
Note that IoT is a network of "things" (physical objects) integrated with sensors, software, and other technologies to connect and exchange data via the internet. Adding personal devices to this environment could compromise data yet again.
Securing connections is of utmost importance. Of course, using a secondary network, ensuring devices are updated, and setting clear guidelines would ensure a BYOD practice would not raise so much risk.
- Lack of Personnel Training
Employee errors could cause security breaches. The lack of training and effort to understand the security risks of BYOD may cost your company millions and even your reputation.
Imagine employees are unaware of security issues bringing their own devices to work. They may not maliciously breach security, but they could be accessing applications or sites that could risk your system and data.
For example, an employee may be into online games and may have downloaded malware. This malware may spread throughout your network and operating systems without enough security.
Training your personnel and ensuring they are aware of the risks of BYOD helps extend protection for your company.
Potential Legal Issues
Even if the leak of a vital client or business partner information comes from your employee's device, you can still be held responsible. Facing legal consequences from local, state, or federal authorities is also possible if your company is found to have failed to take adequate measures to keep equipment and data safe.
Security concerns are serious issues these days. It’s no surprise, given the rampant security breaches and data theft thus far reported. A study at the University of Maryland found that cyberattacks happen every 39 seconds.
A single instance of negligence by any of your employees could cost you millions and your company’s reputation.
Mitigate BYOD Security Risks
Knowing that everyone is vulnerable as technology progresses is key. You need a good grasp of the security risks of BYOD before even implementing it. Mitigating these risks is the first step in protecting your company.
Start with putting in place policies to reduce your company’s susceptibility to any problems with BYOD. At a bare minimum, the policy should explain what BYOD is, its risks, liabilities, and disclaimers.
Set up a unified endpoint management (UEM) system or other relevant solutions to manage mobile devices that your BYOD policy would cover.
Employ any component of EMM such as mobile device management (MDM), mobile identity management (MIM), mobile application management (MAM), or mobile content management (MCM) . Doing so can also reduce the risks of BYOD.
Let Experts Help You
The actions needed to mitigate the risks of BYOD could take your attention away from your core business. As such, it’s best to get help from experts who can put all the security and solutions in your BYOD practice together while you run your business.
Attentus Technologies offers a full suite of IT services. That includes support for upgrades, data recovery and back-up, consultation, helpdesk support, and even risk control of BYOD. With Attentus, your company is safe and secure.