With the influx of millennials and increasing demand for flexible employment, there is a transition from using corporate devices to personnel bringing their own devices. This has a significant influence on how IT can handle data security. For network security, companies need to apply BYOD in the workplace to implement specific security measures for protecting valuable and sensitive corporate data.
What Is BYOD?
Bring Your Own Device, the acronym of BYOD, is a practice used by an organization that allows workers to use their own devices such as mobile phones or laptops to conduct official work. Employees have been using their personal devices at the workplace for private affairs, and the introduction of BYOD now allows them to use their own devices for professional work.
This helps increase employee productivity, improve employee engagement in the company, and reduce IT operational costs. However, this can cause a massive network security risk as it makes an organization vulnerable to cyber threats.
Why Do Companies Prefer BYOD?
BYOD offers employees and enterprise owners a simple and easy to manage solutions to their network devices. Some of the importance of BYOD are stated below.
- It helps to increase employee productivity.
- It helps to save money.
- It provides quick responses from employees.
Why Is BYOD Security Important?
Organizations need to address the BYOD security as personal devices will likely enter a workplace, whether it is sanctioned or not by the IT. Furthermore, BYOD solutions help to improve the morale and productivity of employees. However, if BYOD security is not addressed by IT, personal device access to an organization’s network can cause serious security challenges.
According to a recent report, the new remote working environment has encouraged businesses to opt for a BYOD culture, with 69% of businesses allowing their employees to use personal devices to perform corporate tasks. However, this surge has also resulted in many security incidents, with 63% of respondents encountering data breach incidents, 53% – unauthorized access to data and systems, and 52% – malware infections.
What Security Issues Does BYOD Increase?
Some of the top BYOD vulnerabilities to hybrid network security are stated below.
1. Third-party network flaws
Employees usually connect their devices to different types of networks that are outside of the organization’s control. However, third-party networks do not have a range of security features that are incorporated into corporate networks. This means that storing corporate data on BYOD approved devices can put employees at security threats when they connect to third-party wireless networks.
2. Malformed Content
Most employees do not know that adversaries can exploit weaknesses in malformed content such as videos, landing pages, etc. to get access to a targeted OS or app. Furthermore, using Android devices can easily be hacked because of the presence of software weaknesses in the media processing component of Android.
3. Lost or Stolen Gadgets
One of the common causes of the BYOD security issue is lost or stolen gadgets. Hackers can steal an employee device for their value, and the information on the device can be accessed through hardware and software vulnerabilities. This means enterprise data can leak out if the device is stolen.
4. OS-Related Vulnerabilities
Most organizations use a single software ecosystem for running their operations. However, BYOD’s adoption means you will see a combination of iOS, Android, and windows used in the workplace. This indicates that every device has a different operating system and framework that it runs on and different vulnerabilities, increasing the possibility of hacking and data breaches.
5. Malicious Apps
It is not all apps installed on a device that are actually safe, even the apps found on the official app stores. Furthermore, hackers can use malicious apps to control the user’s device, leading to loss of work information, data theft, and call charges.
How do you make BYOD secure?
1. Set up BYOD Security Policies for All External Devices
Before employees have the freedom to access company data, ensure that a strict security policy is implemented. This policy should include the need for complex passwords, lock screens, constant updates/ patches, security scans, restricted access, and more.
2. Do Not Allow Any Rooted Devices
Most rooted devices are considered to be “easily compromised” devices. This means that the device is more susceptible to security vulnerabilities, viruses, ransomware attacks, trojans, fileless malware, and other cyber threats.
3. Store Business Data and Personal Data Separately
As a healthy security practice, management suites have the ability to wipe data off the device. However, it is always advised that companies provide a set of “corporate-approved apps” that can store data for personal use.
4. Encryption Is the Key to Secure Corporate Data Storage
All corporate data stored on the device should be encrypted so that if the device is compromised, the data is not easily accessible.
5. Connect to VPNs
To ensure an extra layer of security, employees should be encouraged to use a VPN connection when connecting to the company’s server.
Learn More About BYOD Security
It is common for organizations that enforce a BYOD culture to face malware infections, compromised DNS, stolen data, and more. To ensure that you can protect the company from the above-mentioned threats, join EC-Council’s network security certification course – Certified Network Defender (CND).
This course is a skill-based, lab-intensive network security program that is based on a job task analysis. It will also help to develop the skills of network defense among the Network Administrators.