8 Common BYOD Risks That Have Surprisingly Simple Solutions
Bring your own device (BYOD) devices are increasing in popularity as quickly as remote work policies are. There are a lot of advantages to this. There’s less of a learning curve when people can use devices they are familiar with and it’s less cost for the company. However, there are risks of BYOD.
|“Implementing a BYOD policy isn’t inherently good or bad – it’s entirely up to you. The real issue lies in the absence of adequate security protocols.” – Karen Novotny, CEO, California Computer Options
Such risks have caused some business owners to defer implementing their own BYOD policies. While these concerns are not unfounded, many BYOD risks are surprisingly easy to solve. If this situation sounds familiar, this article is for you. We’ll look at 8 common risks of BYOD and go over some of their surprisingly simple solutions.
1. Lost or Stolen Devices
Personal devices like smartphones or laptops can easily get lost or stolen, especially if employees work outside their homes. Due to their compact size, smartphones are especially at risk. This is significant as 93% of workers under 50 report using their smartphones for work-related tasks. Any of these devices may contain sensitive company data.
Enable the ability to remotely wipe data as much as possible. This allows IT admins to remotely delete data on a device if it is lost or stolen. Having these measures can also help protect the employee’s own sensitive information if it is also stored on the device.
2. Insecure Wi-Fi Connections
Employee devices may connect to unsecured public Wi-Fi networks. If they don’t work in the office, there is the possibility that they may work on public networks, such as coffee shops or airports. Additionally, home Wi-Fi networks may not have the same security measures as your corporate network.
Educate your team about the risks associated with insecure Wi-Fi networks. You may also consider the use of VPNs (Virtual Private Networks). A VPN can help create a secure connection even if your employee uses a public network.
|Need a Hand Implementing These Policies? Managed IT Services Can Help!
3. Outdated Software
An estimated 60% of security incidents are caused by a hacker exploiting an unpatched vulnerability in an outdated software tool. In 2022, this method passed login credential theft as the number one tactic used to gain unauthorized access to networks and accounts.
It can be difficult to control how frequently employees update personal devices for work. Try to implement a policy that mandates the use of current operating systems. Regular checks and reminders can help ensure compliance to this policy.
4. Unauthorized Access to Work Devices
BYOD devices used in the home might be accessible to an employee’s family members or friends. Such individuals may not have the same level of security training as your employee. As a result, this type of shared usage can risk accidental leaks of sensitive data.
|Learn More About Keeping Your Devices Secure
Implement strong authentication measures like biometrics or complex passwords for device access. If possible, consider issuing a company-supplied device in cases where the employee only has one shared device at home.
5. Mixing of Personal & Business Data
Storing personal and business data on the same device can lead to accidental data sharing. This risk is a problem for both employee and employer. Private personal information may accidentally be shared on company channels and vice versa.
Deploying a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) can help prevent this risk. VDIs allow employees to access a separate, secure business environment on their BYOD devices. This solution can also help with the previous risk of family and friends using the same device.
6. Risk of Personal App Interference
Personal use applications on BYOD devices may conflict with business applications. Such conflicts can cause data corruption, crashes, or security issues. Certain applications are also a risk to overall device security regardless of if it’s used for work.
Implement app wrapping or containerization, which isolates business apps from personal ones and ensures they operate independently. You should also include app security education in your general cybersecurity awareness training. This is good information for both your business and the employee’s personal knowledge.
7. Compatibility Issues
Given the variety of devices people use, there is a risk that certain important business applications may be incompatible with someone’s device. For instance, an employee’s personal device might run an operating system or version that doesn’t support certain applications.
Establish a compatibility standard for personal devices used in the workplace. This standard should outline the required operating systems, software versions, and hardware specifications necessary for compatibility with the company’s systems. Additionally, implement a vetting process for personal devices to ensure they meet these standards.
8. Getting Too Connected
Employees using their own devices for work might end up working outside of regular hours. While this may sound beneficial to your business upon first glance, it can ultimately hinder productivity and quality of work.
Implement strict usage policies that define clear boundaries for work and personal time. Utilize software that restricts access to work-related applications and emails outside of designated working hours on personal devices if it becomes necessary.
Reduce BYOD Security Risks With a Managed IT Provider
This article looked at some of the things that you can do on your own to strengthen your BYOD security and management. However, you can further strengthen your standards by outsourcing cybersecurity professionals who can keep an eye on your system.
California Computer Options offers this service. Our team of IT consultants and network professionals can keep 24/7 watch on all your endpoints to reduce the chance of remote devices causing a network issue. We also offer round-the-clock IT support that can work with BYOD devices connected to your network.
Contact us today to get started.