Companies across the UK have embraced the introduction of bring your own device (BYOD) policies over recent years and while this has considerably helped to boost flexibility for staff, it has presented a number of serious security issues companies have had to contend with.
In response to this dilemma, Adam Levin, a former director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs and co-founder and chairman of Credit.com, stated in a piece for Forbes that there are several areas on which small businesses should focus if they wish to make BYOD a success.
“From my perspective, the short-term capital savings from BYOD is easily outweighed by the expense and reputational damage to an organisation that’s possible when an employee clicks on malware, a phishing scam or other compromising media,” he commented.
“Devices are lost (or loaned out). There are too many variables and any personal device that connects to the company network where sensitive data is accessible has to be considered a liability.”
With all of these issues in mind, Mr Levin recommends companies set on embracing BYOD to offer adequate training to their staff, to ensure every individual fully understands their responsibilities for maintaining a tight data recovery and security policy.
This means avoiding the use of outside websites on the company network and safeguarding all portable devices with passwords and encryption.
Moreover, the industry expert suggests equipping any IT systems that will be used outside of the office environment, such as laptops of home-based desktop PCs, with the same quality and level of security as would be seen in every other part of a business.
Limiting access to extremely sensitive data and only allowing these files to be accessed within the confines of a company’s own firewall is also a sensible procedure, while anyone wishing to utilise BYOD should be given the responsibility of ensuring their device and network is properly secured before being given access to remote systems.
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