By now, BYOD is nothing new for the majority of businesses. Mobile technology, for the most part, has been integrated into company processes in a range of individual organizations in every industrial sector. However, just because policies have been put in place doesn’t mean security considerations end there.
Chances are good that since an enterprise first launched its BYOD initiative, the threat landscape has changed. The mobile platform is becoming increasingly attractive to hackers as they seek to target sensitive corporate and personal user information for fraudulent purposes. For this reason, BYOD policies should be living documents that can be adjusted by business leaders as needed to match the group’s changing mobile security needs.
When it comes to bolstering a company’s BYOD security plans, there are several items to consider, some of which were likely addressed previously but can be improved upon, while others are new aspects to factor in. According to data protection experts, here are the top elements to think about when improving corporate BYOD security:
Is the current policy easily understandable for employees?
One of the first things to examine is the current set of guidelines the organization has in place for mobile endpoint protection. This policy shouldn’t be overly complex and should lay out rules and use cases in a manner that is easily understandable for staff members. If employees are having any trouble discerning regulations and acceptable mobile device utilization guidelines from the existing document, company leaders should revise it for clarity.
Vitrium contributor Amy Ross noted that any BYOD policy should include several basic elements, including:
- Acceptable devices or operating systems to be used by employees
- Best practices for protecting company information stored/access via mobile devices
- Consequences for the company if data is not properly maintained
- Other corporate BYOD guidelines specific to the individual business
Are existing rules being enforced?
In addition to looking at the pre-established policy, decision-makers should also review how the organization has dealt with breaches of these rules. Ross pointed out that any violation of the business’s mobile device security rules can lead to considerable problems for the organization. These issues can become even worse if the employees that break the rules are allowed to slip by without dealing with the consequences laid down in the BYOD policy.
“These staff members could potentially cost a company thousands of dollars, and workers who violate a policy should be punished accordingly,” Ross wrote.
Does the company keep a list of employee devices?
In order to further their management and monitoring capabilities, some enterprises choose to create a register or list of the devices their employees are utilizing as part of the BYOD initiative. This database can include staff members’ smartphones, tablets and other mobile endpoints being leveraged for business purposes, as well as their connected authentication credentials. This way, administrators can improve their oversight of sensitive materials by knowing who is accessing these documents and what device they are utilizing. DataBlog contributor Ben Lloyd also noted that this precaution can considerably boost the organization’s information security.
“In this way, you can audit your company network regularly to detect unauthorized connections and resource usage,” Lloyd wrote.
Such suspicious activities could point to a hacker infection or other malicious infiltrations. Spotting these items early on allows network administrators to respond quickly and mitigate any damage stemming from an attack.
How well does the business utilize current network tools?
Lloyd also pointed out that, in many instances, corporations may have existing network monitoring and security tools that they either are not using to their full potential, or are not leveraging at all.
“Many common network tools and services have functions that make it easier to manage mobile devices,” Lloyd wrote. “Make use of these tools to automate common mobile device management tasks and to manage network logons, etc.”
However, if the company does not have proper network management and data protection tools in place, now is the time to deploy them. For instance, industry-leading security provider Trend Micro offers a four-in-one solution, Mobile Security, that offers mobile endpoint oversight and control of devices, applications and data. The system includes mobile device and application management, application reputation services, data protection and antivirus capabilities for Android users. Trend Micro Mobile Security provides a range of protective offerings that also serve to lessen the costs and complexity seen with other systems.