Thorough planning required for BYOD deployment in education

Thorough planning required for BYOD deployment in education

There have been four letters standing in the way of mobile development in the workplace: BYOD.

Bring-your-own-device initiatives started innocently enough. Employees, now enabled in new ways by smartphones and tablets, wanted to see how these new tools could be leveraged in the workplace. From checking email to video chatting with fellow staff members, BYOD, suddenly and without warning, became a new standard for professional productivity.

But then the problems began. With few precedents set in the way of safe usage, firewalls and other protective measures became nearly irrelevant almost overnight. People were, for example, sending sensitive documents to unapproved emails and accessing them from unsecured devices. These files could then be infected by whatever malware lay hidden within them. Once they were returned to their servers of origin or accessed from a company-owned endpoint, all of the undesirable code that was now unknowingly attached was spread to enterprise hardware and the other items that were contained within.

This kind of situation continues to happen. While there has been a much greater push behind cyber security efforts since the effects of BYOD began to materialize, there is still a lack of an effective status quo for such matters. And this is not just happening in major corporations – it is also prevalent in schools.

The users of connected devices are getting younger, and many schools are seeing potential in BYOD programs. But while it would be impossible at this point to just ban all student devices outright, there still has to be something more done in the way of protection. Even if pupils are not using their touch screen tools specifically for educational purposes, they are still connecting to the same wireless networks that contain sensitive information and expensive endpoints. The higher up the learning ladder that these institutions are, the greater the care that must be taken with their digital assets.

“From laptops to tablets and smartphones, schools and universities across the globe are testing out a more dynamic learning environment, where students bring and use their choice of technologically assistive devices in the classroom,” wrote WIRED contributor Tim Panagos. “Despite the obvious benefits, the influx of mobile technology in educational systems has also provoked backlash from parents and teachers alike, similar to the BYOD backlash witnessed within enterprise IT departments in the past few years.”

Extra precautions must be taken in education

A lot of the time, breaches occur or systems are corrupted because – simply put – the user did not understand that what they were doing was wrong. If this can happen in an office setting where clear guidelines have been made, then it can definitely happen in a school. Given that students do not face the same repercussions as an employee might and do not have a job on the line in this instance, they are probably more likely to disobey digital regulations. These instances might not be malicious, but they are still possible.

According to Indiana University of Pennsylvania CIO Bill Balint, this is why education on the subject really matters. Balint and his staff have attempted to drive cybersecurity points home in any way possible, from including blurbs in welcome materials to posting fliers around residence halls.

But even with a well-constructed campaign, there are always going to be outliers. This is why educational facilities need Be . Should a file or system be corrupted, schools and colleges will be able to wipe their hardware clean without losing critical files and settings – often without any assistance from IT.

There is a lot that can potentially happen when accepting BYOD as a reality. Organizations of all kinds need to understand this when moving forward.

About The Author

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.

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