The BYOD Security Challenge for Small and Midsize Businesses
There’s a growing security issue for small and midsize businesses (SMBs) that’s called BYOD. The trend of “bring your own device” to work — defined as employees using their own smartphones, laptops or tablets for business tasks— is becoming a major challenge for all organizations. However, for smaller businesses, it’s a real and serious security issue that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later.
Recent surveys of small businesses show that nearly 37% of them permit access to company email via the employees’ personally purchased smartphones. For larger businesses (50-99 employees), the figure increases to 62%.*
The concerns about BYOD are expressed precisely in these statements that appear in 5 Mobile Security Risks Every Small Business Should Know About – a recently published TrendLabs primer:
“The smallest device may be the biggest security hole in a company.”
“A company’s own employees are the biggest threat to company data.”
“Any business that adopts mobility should realize that they open themselves up to certain threats.”
It’s probably clear to anyone who has their own business that there’s a flipside to the convenience and quick response benefits of allowing staff members to use their own equipment to access business data and it is the possibility that an employee’s device could be lost or stolen and providing a criminal with the “keys to the kingdom.”
Just Another End-Point on the Network
Industry analysts see this trend as a natural progression and inevitability for all businesses, no matter the size. SMBs and service providers are already starting to see mobile devices as just another end-point on their networks that must be managed and protected the same way their other business machines, computers, laptops, and devices are.
Unfortunately, these individuals don’t represent the majority of small business people. In general, many feel that their employees are responsible and have faith that they will be smart about how they use their mobile devices and the risks involved in using them for work tasks.
Since most SMBs have not experienced any problems with mobile access to their business data and network, they don’t feel like they are as much at risk as larger companies. Surveys tell us that “even if someone outside of the company got access to the data on a mobile device, most SMBs feel it would be more of an embarrassment than a disaster.” Of course, if you haven’t been victimized yet, you’re probably not as concerned about security as you might otherwise be — despite the general knowledge that it may takes only one successful cyber attack to cripple a smaller business.
Worry-Free Business Security Solutions
Trend Micro has remained an industry leader by keeping a firm finger of the pulse of the IT security needs of businesses, large and small. With this attention to detail and a knack for staying ahead of the “bad guys,” Trend Micro has been very successful in protecting businesses for over 25 years.
So it is with pride and excitement that we launch the 9.0 version of Worry-Free Business Security. It is a solution that anticipates and protects against the threats that come with the expansion of BYOD usage by small businesses and their employees.
Upgraded with Mobile Security
The upgraded version of Worry-Free Business Security can protect data on lost or stolen mobile devices with the capability to remotely wipe data, automatically wipe the device after a certain number of failed attempts to access with the wrong password, lock the device after a certain length of inactivity, and even require devices to be encrypted.
As an additional layer of security, Worry-Free Business Security allows for content access policies to be configured to restrict access to specific users, specific devices, and even specific versions of the operating system on those devices. This can help ensure that only employees with up to date devices can access corporate email, calendars, contacts, and tasks.
In addition to protecting employee devices, the new mobile features can also be used to protect and support company-owned mobile devices.
Worry-Free Business Security will help savvy small business owners avoid the heartache of falling victim to the inevitable cyber criminal attack that comes to any SMB not prepared for it. You can learn more about our solutions here.
*Table 4, Page 6 IDC US SMB Mobile BYOD and Table Adoption JAN 2013