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April 23, 2014updated 22 Sep 2016 11:19am

5 ways to manage BYOD on your network

Despite the dangers, it’s worth the hassle.

By Joe Curtis

BYOD is the revolution that we’re being told is always nearly upon us – an execution forever seemingly stayed.

Maybe it’s because businesses have been slow to welcome mobile working with open arms that they are still fearful of it – a recent Oracle survey found that 45% of 700 European businesses are still not convinced of the security of personal devices.

More than half harboured doubts over application security, while 63% believed data was not properly secure.

But BYOD has a lot of benefits to offer too, and if you implement it with specific goals in mind about what you want to achieve, you can make mobile working a success.

Here CBR outlines five ways to do just that.

Create clear and mandatory user policies

The CIO should talk to the business and HR to create user policies that are very clear about what employees can and can’t do and access on their device during work hours. This way staff are aware of the limits on personal device use while working and can’t get angry if their tablet is remotely locked if lost or stolen as a way to protect company data.

Consider implementing containerisation

Containerisation is a useful tool for separating company and personal data sitting on the same device, and brings a variety of benefits for the business. It enables you to encrypt any work-related data on a device in order to secure it, while that information can be remotely wiped if the device is lost, stolen or the employee moves on.

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Choose who has access to what

It goes without saying that you don’t want a new graduate having the same level of access to your network as your top execs. That’s why a good BYOD policy will identify which users – and importantly, which of their devices – can access what information.

Don’t forget about smartphones!

Surprisingly, half of the 700 firms Oracle surveyed did not include smartphones in their BYOD policies. Historically, mobiles could only really do calls but today, of course, they do a whole lot more. Apps are commonplace as business tools and failing to secure your employees’ mobile phones could present a serious security risk.

Containerisation can solve the problem of storing company data on staff’s own phones, but you could also consider giving people a work phone if necessary.

The threat of Bluetooth

One often overlooked issue is the dangers of interconnectivity between devices. You might be managing everything just fine on your network, with full transparency of who is using what device to access what information. But Bluetooth won’t be a part of your network, and employees can use it just as easily to pass information between devices.

However, detecting high traffic flow between endpoints could reveal interconnecting devices and thus possible security risks, making these easier to manage and identify.

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