BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) has become an inevitable part of offices these days. Almost everyone in your company has a smartphone and many of them may be using your company’s network on them. Maybe even iPad’s, too. Many people use their company emails on their personal smartphones and other mobile devices to access the company’s files. Many companies allow it because there is no better solution. Smartphones are too useful to ban in the office and banning mobile devices would only result in people hiding their phone usage. Asking people to carry multiple devices isn’t ideal either. People don’t want to carry two phones.
The Issue with BYOD
BYOD can be a problem because it can open up your network to attacks. Most companies ensure that all the computers and devices owned by the company have the right security policies as well as tools that can protect them from an attack. When an employee’s device connects to the network there is no guarantee what may be on it, nor that there’s anything protecting it. It can become an easy gateway for hackers or viruses to enter your network and damage or steal your data.
Another problem is that smartphones, when used to transfer files form and to computers, can often carry viruses that are harmless to the phones but bad for computers. If there is a virus that affects Windows or Apple systems then it will reside in the phone safely – because it doesn’t work on Android or Apple smartphones. The moment that the device is connected to a computer it can start wreaking havoc.
Here are 5 ways you can protect your company’s data and network:
Increase your network’s security
You may not be able to keep the devices secure, but you can increase your own network’s security. Many network security measures are taken with the assumption that all the devices connected to the network will be secure as well. You need to rethink your security architecture with the assumption that devices outside of your control may connect to the network as well.
Start whitelisting devices
You need to make employees list the device that they will be connecting to the IT network. This will allow you to ensure that you can have a network which the employees can use without any hassle while other people will not be able to harm you.
Register devices to employee ID’s
Make sure that you attach every device to an employee in your records. This will not necessarily increase network security, but it will allow you to track what device is vulnerable and potentially harming the network.
Enforce security measures on employee’s devices
You cannot restrict your employees to change or stop using their phones, but you can enforce security for their phones. Choose a good smartphone anti-virus solution and offer to buy it for all of your employees. These tools are very cheap (costing only a few dollars), and since you are giving a premium app for free your employees will be happy using it too.
Restrict Mobile Access
You can always restrict access so that mobile devices can only access certain files or services. This will make sure that employees only handle secure files and services through their approved devices.
You need to talk to whoever is managing your network security if you want to make sure your company is protected from attacks originating through employees’ devices. You can always contact a great MSP (managed services provider) to get ironclad network security and professional monitoring.
We here at Networking Results would be happy to meet with you about our recommendations for securing your network’s BYOD. Call or email us any time!