Oct 22, 2013

Preparing Your Employees for 'Bring Your Own Device' Policies

Image by Michael Coghlan via Flickr
'Bring Your Own Device' (BYOD) policies have been gaining in popularity, especially among the 18 to 24-year-old working demographic. According to Magic Software, 42 percent of this demographic uses a personal device for work. Smartphones are the most popular personal workplace device at 42 percent, with laptops coming in second at 38 percent. While BYOD has many security challenges, one significant hurdle you have to overcome is the way your employees think. It's common knowledge to put anti-virus software on your computer, but Kaspersky reports that 40 percent of smartphone owners do not utilize anti-virus software. Teaching your employees about the best security practices for smartphones is an essential step in improving your overall BYOD security.

Major Virus Vectors for Smartphones

Apps, especially ones you load from outside of official app stores, may carry malicious code and viruses. Mobile anti-virus and anti-malware applications help cut down on infections, although zero day viruses get around this protection until the virus definitions are updated. Teach employees to only download and install apps from trusted sources and official websites, instead of third-party sites.
Unsecured wireless networks and Bluetooth connections are another way for malicious code to get injected on employee devices. Security settings on Android and iOS prevent devices from automatically connecting to untrusted networks. MMS messages with attachments also provide another way for hackers to get viruses onto the system, according to Qresolve. When employees are careful about what message attachments they open, they cut down on the amount of virus vectors to keep their smartphones more secure.

Device Loss

According to BGR, 113 smartphones are lost every minute in the U.S. If employees store work files or login information on their smartphones, this data could easily be used against the company if the phone is stolen. Anti-theft software cuts down on data breaches by locating the phone if it's lost, or remotely wiping the data if it's stolen. Another point to bring up in training is to tell employees not to store passwords on their smartphones, or encrypt any stored passwords. You can also install apps that provide lock screens for every individual app, preventing a thief from accessing any data stored in apps instead of mobile browsers.

Enterprise App Stores

Instead of letting employees use their own apps for work-related purposes, provide them with approved, secure apps for productivity and utility. While some employees are more productive with their own apps, enterprise app stores do cut down on unsecure data transfer. You provide solutions to your employees for data transfer, cloud storage, collaboration tools, and other essential workplace apps.

Mobile Management

You can cut down on the amount of work managing multiple mobile platforms by using mobile device management (MDM) software that supports iOS, Blackberry and Android phones. Solutions that provide substantial mobile security include features such as virtualized work spaces and secure, self-contained applications that don't interact with the rest of the smartphone's system files.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More

Design by Free WordPress Themes | Bloggerized by Lasantha - Premium Blogger Themes | stopping spam