You can bring your device or it may be a part of a corporate policy that allows employees to buy a tablet, smartphone, or laptop.

BYOD: The History

BYOD only became more popular in 2010, even though it was first introduced in 2009. Personal devices were flooding the workplace and CIOs felt the pressure. It was at this point that Android began to gain steam and the first iPad launched on the market. As a result, more smartphones and tablets were being used in the workplace. IT continued to allow BYOD but was not offering much support. Many businesses have even begun to block personal devices from their network and mail servers. iOS 4 was released in 2010. It is the first API to manage mobile devices. IT professionals and businesses realized that Bring Your Device was not an option they could ignore forever.

The introduction of BYOD and official support to the workplace was much quicker than expected in 2011. The enterprise mobility market was rapidly changing and executives began to feel more comfortable using touchscreen keyboards.

Although IT was still focusing on the security of the device, the first serious concerns about data leakage and security were raised in 2012. Now, users were very concerned about their privacy. Businesses focused on communicating BYOD policies clearly to users concerned while still working towards understanding security and privacy implications. Mobile Device Management (MDM), solutions were in high demand.

Bring Your Device has brought about a revolution in how organizations provide access to their computers networks. In the past, IT departments at schools and businesses would create closed networks that could only be accessed by their computers. Students and employees can now connect their smartphones, tablets, and computers to open networks using BYOD.

BYOD was born out of the rising popularity of smartphones and tablets, as well as the lower cost of laptop computers. Individuals can now have the hardware they need to perform the same tasks as before, even though they used to depend on their employers for this.

Why BYOD Security? Understanding the security risks of bringing your device

Security risks associated with BYOD are listed in

Malware: Employees bring their own devices into their workplaces. However, little information is available about the device. These devices may be vulnerable to malware and other cybersecurity threats that aren’t related to the company. Employees also use the devices for personal purposes. IT security managers should be concerned about the possibility that BYOD users might bring their malware.

Data leakage: In addition to the potential for malware being introduced into corporate environments, bringing your device can also lead to data loss and/or leakage. Unmanaged BYOD devices allow a user to access the corporate network without restriction and take what they need with them to other companies. This device could be lost or stolen.

Hardware: With corporate-provisioned devices, the company gets direct control over the specific phone hardware choice, and it has frequently been vetted to meet corporate compliance requirements. Typically, companies provide default configurations that can meet corporate policies for phones and other devices they give to employees.

How can you mitigate BYOD risks in your business?

All businesses must now consider how to manage a multitude of mobile devices, as BYOD is becoming a powerful force in the business world.

Businesses need a platform that can provide high levels of oversight as well as solid data protection to keep track of their growing mobile device fleet. MDM systems are essential to track mobile device usage. They can also wipe devices if lost or stolen.

There are many ways that organizations can reduce BYOD risk. These measures include:

  • Remote wipe
    Remote wipe is the act of deleting data remotely from a device. This can include overwriting data to prevent forensic recovery and returning the device to its original factory settings to make any data on it inaccessible.
  • Risk profiling
    Organizations must understand their data protection requirements. This is especially important in regulatory environments that may have compliance requirements. BYOD risks are particularly high in situations such as international deployment or compliance requirements.
  • Staying current
    It is vital to keep your browsers, operating systems, and other applications up-to-date with the latest security patches. Employees’ devices will be wiped clean of corporate data if they are kept up to date. This could lead to data breaches in the future.
  • Isolating data
    It is always a good idea to limit access to enterprise data based upon the job role of employees.
  • Device tracing
    Companies should have a policy for tracking all devices. This will allow them to be constantly aware of the whereabouts of any company device, whether it is in use or not. A surveillance system that monitors all devices that enter and leave company premises is an excellent idea. The surveillance system should also include devices belonging to visitors.

BYOD is a benefit to an organization

Below are some key benefits of implementing a BYOD strategy within an organization.

    • Technology familiarity
      Most people are familiar with their devices. Apple and Windows users are both very familiar with Apple technology. It is possible for employees to become frustrated when trying to adapt to a completely different device. Bring Your Device eliminates this problem. Employees can use their devices to meet their needs. This allows them to be fully competent in their job.
    • Flexibility
      Employees can bring their devices to work. This allows them to not have to carry multiple devices to meet their home and work needs. Employees will be able to work from wherever they are, just like they do in the office. This ensures that employees are not disturbed by company property rules. Employees can have more freedom with Bring Your Device.
    • Lower costs
      BYOD is a great way for companies to save money. They don’t need to buy expensive devices for employees to use eLearning. Employees will take better care of company-owned equipment, which could reduce wastage and decrease breakages.
    • Improved productivity and innovation
      Bring Your Device creates a positive correlation between employees’ comfort and productivity. Employees become more comfortable with their devices and can master them. These devices can be used with the latest technologies and are a benefit to the company.

BYOD at Work: Insurance Implications and Risks

There could be security issues associated with employees allowing BYOD to be used in the workplace

      • No antivirus or firewall software
        Employees should be encouraged to regularly update their firewall and antivirus software when they use their devices at work. Failure to do this can lead to weak networks and system holes.
      • Accessing unsecured Wi-Fi
        Employees use their devices often outside of work and can access Wi-Fi networks at airports, coffee shops, airports, and even their homes. Hackers can gain easy access to company networks and systems if they aren’t secured.
      • Lost or stolen devices
        Devices containing company data can be lost, stolen, or misplaced. This could allow third-party access to your business’s vital information. This happens most often when devices aren’t secured with passwords or passcodes.
      • Employees leaving the company
        After abrupt departures, ex-employees may gain unauthorized access to company systems. It happens because it is difficult to clean out devices of company information and passwords after employees abruptly quit.

If proper precautions aren’t taken, all these risks can pose a risk to sensitive and important data. Before you can implement a BYOD policy in your company, you’ll need to create a security plan that outlines the regulations that employees must follow. It is essential to educate employees about the importance of these regulations for data not to be compromised.

Insurance Implications of BYOD

Even if the company has implemented the most stringent security measures and policies, it is still possible for data to be compromised by hackers. Cyber liability insurance is available to help with this.

Insurance companies must create services and products that meet the specific needs of employees and companies when it comes to data privacy. The insurance industry must stay on top of BYOD trends to ensure that their products can be used in new areas.

Insurers can identify the risks and concerns associated with Bring Your Device so that they can provide the protection needed by commercial customers. Insurers and companies must also be aware of the unique risks associated with BYOD to ensure that they provide appropriate coverage if vital information is compromised.

Secure a BYOD Program

There are many ways to secure a BYOD program. They can involve different types of technology and policies.

Network Access Control: Controlling the access to corporate resources and networks is considered the most fundamental foundational level. It is a recipe for disaster to allow any device to connect with a corporate network in today’s threat landscape.

Mobile Device Management: Enrolling devices to an MDM platform allows organizations the ability to monitor and manage their network.

How to establish a BYOD policy that works

You may have an obsolete policy or are currently in the process to create a corporate Bring Your Device Policy. If so, you can consider these tips to help you address IT service, application usage, security, and many other components.

Specify which devices will be allowed
People who owned a blackberry generally used the same device for their work. Employees now have access to a variety of devices, from Android phones to iOS-based smartphones. It is important to clarify what “bring your device” means. It is important to specify what devices are allowed by the enterprise and which devices may be used.

Establish a strict security policy for all devices entering the premises
Most device users won’t allow their devices to have passwords and lock screens. They are hesitant to allow others access to their content and functions. This is not a valid complaint. When phones and other devices are connected with corporate servers, sensitive information can be accessed. Employees who wish to take part in the BYOD initiative must be prepared to set strong passwords on their devices. Instead of a four-digit password, a long alphabetic password is required.

Establish a clear service policy for devices that fall under the BYOD criteria
There are many boundaries that management must set when it comes to the resolution of employee problems or questions. This will require policy-makers to answer questions such as:

What policies will you use to support personal applications? What support will you provide for damaged devices? What support will you provide for devices that are damaged?

It is important to communicate clearly who owns which apps and what data
It is important to ask whether the BYOD policy will allow the wiping of all devices brought into the network. Employees will need to be given clear guidance about how to protect their devices, and how to back it up once it is retrieved or replaced.

Which apps are allowed and which are banned?
This rule should apply to all devices that can connect to corporate or personal servers. These considerations include the use of VPNs, social media browsing, and other remote access software. This raises the question of whether users will have access to sensitive corporate resources that can cause legal or security problems.

Creating an exit strategy for employees
Consider what happens if an employee leaves the company with a device that is allowed under the BYOD policy.

How will the management remove access tokens, email accesses, data, and any other proprietary information or applications? It isn’t easy. Employees cannot just return a company-issued telephone. Many companies resolve this problem by denying employees access to corporate email or synchronization access during exit interviews and checklists. Some companies are more security conscious and may opt to perform a BYOD-enabled wiping as an exit strategy.

BYOD Mobile Security

Organizations need to improve their support infrastructure because of the rapid proliferation of corporate- and user-owned devices at work. MDM is the best software solution for managing and securing your company’s mobile applications and data. It can be used to manage all devices entering and leaving your organization. MDM platforms provide a central interface that allows you to interact with data on both your company’s and your employees’ devices.

BYOD policies are a cost-saving tool for companies that require their employees to be mobile. Understanding BYOD and how it affects an organization is crucial in the adoption of employee-owned devices. This will allow a company to make the most of superphones, tablets, and cloud computers.

Below are some best practices for BYOD and security.

Policy Review: While current policies might need to be modified, there must be clear steps towards applying the existing policies to mobile apps and devices.

Evaluation for MDM: MDM software can solve a lot of security problems, but it will take time to evaluate properly.

Be realistic: The use of a mobile phone for personal purposes is very different from using it within the company. BYOD employees will need to be open to compromises and accept that security is very important for their company.

Platform Support: There are many mobile platforms. It is important to keep in mind that certain devices other than Apple’s iPhone/iPad might support different features. Your organization will need to maintain a list.

Application policy. A policy for an application can be blacklisting or whitelisting software, and the use of containers to run third-party applications. It is important to clearly define which software is allowed and which is prohibited. Although it can take a lot of time and resources to set up an application policy, you must be clear about which software is allowed.

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