Remote Working 101: Security Threats in a BYOD Set-Up

Meta Description: As the working environment continues to evolve, you have to be mindful of the security threats that you could encounter in a BYOD set-up

The recent pandemic has changed the way business run their processes. It’s not as drastic for some firms as it is for others. Because of this, many organizations now find it possible to adopt the “bring-your-own-device” (BYOD) environments for employees. While these environments were usually not built to accommodate companies’ whole staff, it made the transition for onboarding remote employees during the pandemic smoother. However, as the number for this kind of environment rises, the security threats in a BYOD set-up also increases.

Why leverage on the BYOD Set-Up? 

These days, many companies are now taking advantage of cloud innovations. As a result, the team can work together efficiently and boost overall performance, even located miles apart. The BYOD environment allows workers the right to use their mobile computers from anywhere in the world as long as there is internet connectivity. That makes information sharing better than ever before and can also contribute to higher employee retention levels and lowered overhead costs for companies.

The use of mobile devices by the population today is as widespread as smartphones themselves. The lines blur as staff jump from their Instagram to the business file-share on their smartphones. A survey conducted by Samsung from Oxford Economics showed that almost 80% of employers thought their workers could not do their jobs without them. Companies depend on them to meet their workers before and after regular operating hours. Employees rely on them to remain linked to their email and other essential business apps.

Security Threats You Can Face In A BYOD Set-Up

Will all the benefits that BYOD can bring to your company, it is essential that you know possible security breaches that may come your way, so you will know how to protect your business from cyber threats. Having enough idea on these security threats in a BYOD set-up can help your company and your employees safe from any cybersecurity attacks.

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Data  Theft

The BYOD policies make it easier to keep in touch with your team. But if they’re at the airport and send a file over an unsecured Wi-Fi network, it may compromise your company’s security. Think of the dangers of revealing this confidential information to hackers searching for access to sensitive business networks highly prominent in airports. Hackers will find ways to steal information. The practice of BYOD can be a perfect environment for them to do so.

Device Loss or Theft

An employee who has misplaced or got his computer stolen will go from a significant nuisance to a tragedy for the whole business. That could compromise much confidential information if these devices did not meet recommended company safety procedures. What if they didn’t have a safe password to log on to business systems? Did they make passwords easy to locate by saving them on their device?

Even if the worker does all well, hackers now have access to more advanced technologies. Someone with adequate persistence and expertise will break a safe password or a thumbprint identifier.

Lack Of Employee Training

Often data breaches occur as a result of the errors committed by workers. They cannot thoroughly grasp the criteria of the business when it comes to protecting their unit. If you fail to ask your employees to attend hands-on briefings or sign a declaration indicating that they understand the company’s practices, it may lead to possible cybersecurity attacks. Inadequate preparation can cause workers to make mistakes that would damage the safety of your company’s systems.

Malware Infiltration

Your employees use their smartphones to access all manner of information and may not be diligent in isolating and protecting essential business data from anything else. That could happen if one of your employees mistakenly download a computer game with secret malware or viruses. They could end up passing it right through the company’s network the next time they log in.

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Poor Mobile Management

Employees will leave your company for every reason whatsoever. When they do so, you have to be confident that your resigned or retired workers will no longer have a connection to any business app on their mobile devices or computer. If you have poor mobile management, it will allow anyone with a link on their smartphone to quickly access your system. It will be hard for you to trace down the course for the cause of the security breach.

How To Protect Your BYOD Environment?

Define Your BYOD Policies

Your BYOD and security policies must be specifically established and conveyed to the staff base, who will use personal devices to access your network. An example of this may be a consistent specification of apps that are not permitted and websites that users can visit while on a company network.

Provide Proper Awareness Training

Although user awareness training is often an essential part of keeping companies safe, it is highly necessary to use the BYOD strategy. That involves the enforcement of secure passwords on mobile computers, data management, and healthy internet habits. This preparation should be carried out as frequently as once a month or at least once a year. Focus on repeat offenders and make sure to integrate and enjoin new hires into the company’s safety culture.

Secure Your Network

Under the BYOD policy in effect, staff will now be able to link their personal computers to your network. That will have the possibility to have anyone connect from an unsecured network. You can combat this by testing the authenticity of the available WI-FI hotspots and ensuring that all websites through which users share details are encrypted. Other strategies to protect the network include reducing the possibility of unwanted access to company data when a computer is missing or stolen. That can be accomplished by allowing a multi-factor authentication mechanism on your network and using remote wiping tools.

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Communicate BYOD Policies

The BYOD policies are only useful if the people who use them grasp the idea. However, 77% of employees have not undergone any formal guidance on the dangers of using personal appliances at work.

An effective BYOD training program will mean a difference between a more efficient workforce and a catastrophic breach of records. The easiest way to articulate your policies effectively to both stakeholders is to engage in ongoing workforce protection training.

Hold daily training workshops, plan a comprehensive guide sent through emails, or arrange one-on-one IT training sessions for and employees. Education and constant reminders allow workers to use their devices efficiently and securely.

Have An Employee Exit Plan

At some point, workers with devices on your BYOD network will be leaving the company. Failure to remove their access to business networks and data will lead to security problems down the road. Conduct a BYOD exit checklist during your employee’s exit interview. You have to delete company emails after an employee exits the company or change all the passwords on all company accounts.

Final Thoughts

BYOD is increasingly inevitable for modern companies. Your workers will use personal computers at work in one manner or another, and you will not be able to deter them. But with a safe BYOD strategy that protects all databases, you can enable customers to function more productively, improve employee loyalty, and avoid expensive data breaches and malware attacks from harming your company. Creating a successful BYOD program and tracking employee protection benefits your company and your clients.

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