Responding to BYOD with software layered security

Maintaining security in a BYOD environment doesn't have to be a daunting task.

Many organizations are in the process of jumping on the bring-your-own-device bandwagon. There are some clear benefits – allowing employees to use the device of their choosing expands their work options and will likely make them more productive. Companies can benefit by cutting down on device purchasing costs. Employees that elect to use more mobile equipment, like laptops, tablets and smartphones, will be better equipped when out of the office for business travel or remote working. They can be more reliable and connected.

In the drive to implement the latest tech trends, however, many organizations may act prematurely. There are many considerations that go into the customization of personal computing, and there are still some potential pitfalls that have not yet been fully explored.

Being proactive is always the answer when it comes to security policies and enforcement. Exerting total control over BYOD would be a self-defeating proposition, but businesses can't allow the desire for flexibility overwhelm that of protection. One survey reported that only 36 percent of businesses currently have a BYOD policy in place. While 32 percent said they didn't have one, but would plan to develop one within the next 12 months, 16 percent said that they weren't planning to draft a policy at all. However, 84 percent of the IT professionals surveyed responded that instituting a BYOD policy could lead to better positioning for their business.

Mobile device management strategies
Providing tight security over a wide spectrum of devices without being heavy-handed about it isn't an easy task. Mobile application control techniques are still important, especially if companies are using a variety of apps developed in-house or applied externally. Companies should look for scalable layered security solutions that can respond to two key areas of potential problems – the first is using application management strategies to prioritize certain apps that are used for critical business functions while blocking other app usage that could lead to compromised security. The second is to evaluate how data and documents are shared. The network policies for company PCs should be consistent to those for any employee devices.

Anti-virus solutions present in software layered security solutions can provide the sort of protection that businesses need for the applications and data sharing without exerting too much control over user devices. It can improve the quality of user experience by assisting in system maintenance and ensuring that security policies across the company are standardized. 

Scott Cornell

When he’s not knee deep in blogging and all things tech, Scott spends his free time playing ultimate Frisbee and watching foreign films. An expert in emerging tech trends, Scott always has his ear to ground for breaking news related to IT security.