Bring Your Own Device – Security Issues and How to Avoid Them

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is a fairly new practice in the business word. The main reasons why it is one of the fastest emerging business trends are its benefits, such as increased employee satisfaction, mobility and productivity.

On the other hand, the BYOD practice brings certain security risks along with it. While BYOD security isn’t simple, it is possible. With that in mind, here are top BYOD security issues and how to avoid them.

Infected Devices

Since people will start bringing the devices they are using at home to work, the chances are that at least one device infected with malware will connect to your business network.

Not to mention that there are only a few people who read the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy of mobile apps when they install them. Devices with app that have excessive permissions pose a threat to business network security.

There is another malpractice that can get devices easily infected – outdated mobile OS. And some of the malware written for the older versions of operating systems have devastating consequences.

Solution: Start using file integrity monitoring. This will help your IT team detect any suspicious changes on each of the devices connected to the network. Since this software is able to register even the slightest of changes in the core of the system, IT teams will be able to identify threats and prevent any damage to your network and data.

Leaked Data

With personal devices the risk of getting your business data leaked go through the roof. Why? Because the chances are that your employees are automatically logging in to the corporate email, where a bunch of information is shared, and when they misplace it or it gets stolen from them a data leak follows.  

Your data may also leak if the device gets infected with malware. Even worse, it can get encrypted and you asked for ransom. In any case, a healthy BYOD program definitely can encompass these issues.

Solution: Mobile device management (MDM) is an often applied practice in BYOD organizations. There are numerous MDM software tools on the market and they will enable your IT team to remotely wipe a device registered with it, in case it gets stolen or misplaced.

If you want to limit the exposure and prevent a data leak, you should definitely work on BYOD permissions policy. Each department should have limited access, which is the only optimal security strategy.

Fake Apps are Malicious Apps

Ever since smartphones entered organizations, hackers have been attempting to develop malicious software that would help them penetrate the defences and lay their hands on some very sensitive data. How do they do this? They identify the download trends on the App Store and Play Store, develop their malicious app and upload it under a name that revolves around popular keywords.

And before you know it, “Install Pokémongo”, has become the greatest security threat in the history of BYOD. This app in particular installs malicious software that runs in the background and clicks on ads on porn websites. But there are also those that can take full control over a user’s smart device, resulting in loss of work information, surveillance and fake phone or data charges.

Solution: In order to fix this, you will have to organize the training on best app practices. Your employees should know that installing apps from trusted sources is a must and that there will be consequences for those who download their “free” apps through webpages.

Poor Or Nonexistent Policies

If you don’t want to make any costly mistakes, you should have a policy for everything in your organization. The same goes for the BYOD program that you’ve implemented or you are about to. In any case, there are already regulations that organizations have to comply to. If not, your business may have to pay high fines.

Solution: The best solution hides between a perfect mix of policy-based administration and written policy. Through these policies, organizations should cover: required use of a VPN, location tracking, MDM, patching and updates in real-time, single sign-on, must-have lock screens and secure passwords.

These are the most common security issues regarding BYOD practices in business organizations. If you want to prevent any of these happening, your IT department has to implement the best and most secure BYOD practices and monitor employee-owned devices at all times.