When analyzing the pros and cons of implementing a BYOD initiative on any organization, the first concern that is usually brought up is network security.
The common notion is that by allowing employees to access company data and applications through their personal devices, an organization increases it risks of security breaches. That is, until now.
In a recent interview for PCR, Lee Painter, CEO of network security and identify management software firm Hypersocket, stated that "[w]e're all familiar with BYOD dangers: data breaches exploited because of a lack of proper security protocols and encryption on devices or missed operating system updates; data leakage as a result of device software not being regularly updated; malware on the device finding its way onto the corporate network."
In order to minimize this perceived extra risk and to set it on par to any company-issued hardware, Painter recommends to "focus your major efforts on securing the core of your system first, your network, and then work outwards with access control, authentication control and finally device control".
Another key step that will help any organization minimizing BYOD risk, is taking a closer look to Mobile Device Management (MDM). "With the network itself under control through IAM, segmented networks, VPN access and fine-grained access, managing the actual end-user device is next. This is where technology like master data management (MDM) comes into play. From managing what is installed on these devices, what can continue to be installed, to auditing and monitoring their use and locking down and disabling stolen devices, MDM is a vital piece of the jigsaw for effective BYOD. It can also be used to ensure that devices remain patched and up to date, reducing malware infecting the network."
The need to integrate personal devices will only increase over time so it is imperative for organizations to be ready to balance both the comfort of allowing employees to use their own device while maintaining the security of their network and data intact.