Modern enterprises have made mobility a major part of their organizations, enabling employees to work more flexibly and business to continue from anywhere. Bring-your-own-device policies have allowed companies to provide improved mobility to their staffs, but such programs have increased the likelihood of security incidents occurring and causing problems for internal networks. Now, BYOD initiatives have started to transition into bring-your-own-application, and the related cybersecurity issues have grown even larger.
As an increasing number of cloud-based applications become available for little to no cost to users, employees have begun making their own decisions about what types of programs they employ and where they get those applications from. While this is creating a boom of productivity and employee efficiency, enabling staff members to customize their own workflows and choose the services that optimize their daily operations, it is also causing a dramatic increase in shadow IT. With applications deployed in the cloud and used by a scattered number of employees, internal IT departments have no insight into what is being accessed and what types of threats those applications may be creating for the company.
Mobile app use on the rise
A recently released study by Gartner found that the number of applications downloaded is increasing every year and will reach nearly 270 billion by 2017. The report also revealed that mobile users share sensitive personal information with more than 100 applications and services each day. As applications are created for a growing number of devices and not just phones or tablets, the number of apps used and the information shared with those programs will rise dramatically.
“In the next three to four years, apps will no longer be simply confined to smartphones and tablets, but will impact a wider set of devices, from home appliances to cars and wearable devices,” said Brian Blau, research director at Gartner. “By 2017, Gartner predicts that wearable devices will drive 50 percent of total app interactions.”
For companies interested in reducing the security risks facing their organizations while still providing employees with the benefits of mobility, implementing a white-listing program is a reliable way to increase network protection. Software like Faronics’ Anti-Executable Enterprise solution ensures that employees are only able to run approved applications, greatly reducing the the possibility of malicious applications installing malware on company networks.