The technological advancements experienced over the last four to five years has created a new business IT model that has developed quite a bit of steam. The BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) model has placed businesses in a place in which they cannot ignore the proclivity and desire of employees to use their own mobile device to access the company’s network.
These same companies cannot ignore the vast benefits to the company itself. The BYOD model has been proven to save a company as much as $89 per month per employee. Employees being allowed to use their own devices to access the company network also creates a more efficient, productive and harmonic work environment. The problem for companies adapting the BYOD model is that it does not come without its challenges.
Because employees are using their own devices it has been extremely difficult for employers to monitor usage, as well as ascertain if security protocol is being followed. There are multitudinous security risks that are amplified by the use of individualized and personalized devices. For instance, the use of third party mobile applications can easily expose the company’s network and data; as malware and spyware are often loaded into these applications.
Also the enigmatic issue of how to deal with employee terminations, understanding that the employee has a personal device with sensitive company data saved to it, has to be addressed.
All data on the employee’s device would be discoverable under law as well. With all of these concerns and many more, how does a company engage this issue?
One of the most direct and effective methods of dealing with this significant and growing issue is to implement policies that address the areas of concern. These policies would need to create the ability to monitor and manage what is being downloaded onto the personal devices of employees. Policies would also need to be in place to answer some of the more pressing questions that are presented by the BYOD model.
- Is it really possible to adequately secure company data on personal mobile devices?
- Without deploying a full VPN, is it possible to securely allow intranet access by employee owned devices?
- What are the dynamics involved in executing a wipe of company data from a personal device, and can it be done without destroying the personal data on the device?
These are only a few questions that must be answered through the implementation of policy and protocol.
There is harmonious alternative to attempting to legislate the security of the company’s data through the implementation and monitoring of company policy. The truth is, if the monitoring and execution of the new policies that have been implanted in order to protect the company is too elaborate, the costs would offset the financial benefit of allowing BYOD in the first place.
The alternative is to allow technology to provide the solution to the issues being created by technology. What this means is that workspace office solutions via software programs are being created every day for everything from accounting automation to operations streamlining.
In this instance, the company can use a software solution that will work in conjunction with a streamlined, but effective BYOD policy.
The Fixmo is the first workspace solution that directly engages the security issues associated with the BYOD model; allowing employers to adapt BYOD without the concern of an increased risk of data breech, or any other type of security compromise.
The designers of this software developed it to answer all of the questions that are presented by BYOD. Fixmo SafeZone places the control of IT issues back in the hands of the IT department. Starting with encrypted password protection that is managed by the IT department, personal devices can be protected without impacting the personal functionality and data on the employee device.
With this new software solution, the company can protect and contain all of its applications and data, using what is known as “mobile sandboxing”. Sandboxing is the use of a virtual environment in which all company data is stored on a particular device. This data can only be accessed using the Fixmo SafeZone password that has been assigned. All data and applications that are loaded into the sandbox is 100 percent separate from all personal data.
This new software solution comes with flexible deployment that can be adjusted to meet the needs and budget of any company.
All of the experts agree that BYOD is here to stay; therefore it is up to employers to figure out the best way to engage the security concerns associated with this business model. SafeZone is a good place to start.
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James H. Goodwin is security analyst that specializes in mobile technology and deployment.