Don’t Let Your Business Fall Victim to the Risks of BYOD!

Written by Channel 8 Cleveland on November 18, 2013. Posted in Iphone security, Mobile device management, Mobile workforce

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One of the most popular ways of improving business is by allowing employees to bring their own devices to work, using them as much for professional tasks as personal. According to ZDNet, 62% of businesses will use a “bring your own device” policy, commonly referred to as BYOD, by the end of 2013. Naturally, businesses are trying to reap the rewards commonly associated with using BYOD, but what risks does this bring to the business? How can they be avoided?

BYOD is Beneficial
According to a recent study by CISCO, employers who use a BYOD policy save themselves anywhere from $300 to $1,300 on each employee. They don’t have to worry about purchasing costs, and more often than not, they can negotiate lower usage rates with mobile providers as the result of being a business contractor.

Of course, BYOD policies are not only useful for reducing costs but for improving workplace productivity. If you’ve ever made the switch over from, say, a Blackberry to an iPhone, then you know exactly how much time it takes to familiarize yourself with an unfamiliar platform. By allowing BYOD, businesses avoid the learning curve altogether, skipping over potential productivity pitfalls.

BYOD Comes with Risks
Despite the huge benefits to cost and productivity, BYOD is not without its risks. Most commonly, there are two main risks that impact iPhone security, and that for other mobile devices:

  • Human Error
  • According to USA Today, Americans lose $30 million worth of mobile devices every year. If those devices hold important business data and are unsecured, then the loss becomes not only a problem for the individual, but their employer as well.

  • Technological Risks
  • The technology we rely upon to make mobile computing better, for work or pleasure, is the same that undermines our security. According to Forbes, automatic e-Discovery, technologies that let our mobile devices easily hop on and off of open networks, give data thieves an easy way to get into unprotected phones.

How to Improve BYOD Security
Luckily, the risks involved with BYOD can almost completely be managed through new advents in on-board mobile technologies and third-party software applications.

  • More Secure Phones
  • As ProofPoint writes, many new mobile technologies make it safer than ever to use BYOD in the workplace. Take, for example, Apple’s new method of iPhone management for security. The iPhone 5S uses a fingerprint scanner, enabling access to only the owner. By requiring phones that use smart hardware, you can greatly cut your risk of data theft.

  • Required Device Encryption
  • As BYOD becomes the norm across all forms of business, more smartphone developers are implementing on-board software features that can encrypt data, protecting it from prying eyes. Specifically, as ZDNet points out, iPhone security has come a long way since the release of the iPhone 4. Now, iPhone security features come built-in, allowing users to encrypt their phones without the use of outside software.

  • Use Mobile Device Management Software
  • Using mobile device management software to improve iPhone security, and that for other platforms, is probably the best protection any business can find. This software allows businesses to remotely delete data, find lost phones, and apply policy-specific protections to all phones, regardless of their type.

If your business uses a BYOD policy, then make sure you consider all of the risks that come with it. By insisting on more secure phones and using mobile device management software, you can take advantage of all BYOD offers, without leaving your company exposed.

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