Does your company allow employees to use their personal devices to check email, view CRM data, edit shared documents, or access other types of enterprise data? If so, you’re probably aware that this arrangement is commonly referred to as “bring your own device” (or “BYOD” for short).
The benefits of BYOD are numerous. Employees get to use their own smartphones and tablets rather than carrying around a second corporate device. From the company’s standpoint, there’s much less hardware and software to budget for and maintain.
Despite its many upsides, a BYOD program can also pose several risks to your company’s IT infrastructure. In this article, we’ll explore several common BYOD risks and explain how a virtual mobile infrastructure solution, such as our Hypori platform, can mitigate risk.
Corporate Risks & BYOD
According to a recent report published by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (a division of the U.S. Department of Commerce), the rise of BYOD devices for telework is creating complex security challenges for modern companies. Not only does a lost, stolen, or hacked device present an immediate risk of information loss, but it also exposes the entire organization to much greater damage. As stated in the report:
“…if the telework device is not secured properly, it poses additional risk to not only the information that the teleworker accesses but also the organization’s other systems and networks.”
The NIST report goes on to point out that:
“…a telework device infected with a worm could spread the worm through remote access to the organization’s internal computers. Therefore, telework devices should be secured properly and have their security maintained regularly.”
In other words, a single hack or lost device can wreak serious havoc for your company, far outweighing any potential benefits of BYOD. To mitigate risk of information loss, companies often turn to mobile device management (MDM) software. Even with this type of software, “properly securing” thousands of devices across multiple countries and continents is tricky – especially when your MDM solution fails to address these specific risks:
1. End User Devices Connecting Directly to Enterprise Servers
A single infected end user device can take down your entire IT infrastructure unless the proper security protocols are in place. Frequent turnover in staffing and device changes makes life doubly challenging for IT staff.
2. Security Gaps Caused by Lost or Stolen Devices
Losing a smartphone can be a devastating experience. Family photos, meaningful text messages, and important notes can be lost in the blink of an eye. Locating the device and restoring personal data usually becomes the employee’s top priority. All the while, your company’s data has been compromised. Worst of all, no one at your company realizes the threat exists until the employee reports the device as lost or stolen. At that point, it might be too late.
3. Offline Data Hacks
Many MDM solutions allow administrators to wipe corporate data from employee devices. So, once an employee reports a lost or stolen device, your admin should be able to stop the bleeding. That is, assuming that the device is actually connected to the Web. When a device is offline, your MDM solution may not be able to completely wipe all enterprise data from the lost device. Hackers know this, which is why they’ll keep it offline until they’re done stealing your data.
4. Data Resting on End User Devices
At the end of the day, most BYOD risks revolve around one central problem: allowing corporate data to rest on end user devices in the first place. Sure, your employees need to access corporate data to do their jobs, but at what cost?
Overcoming BYOD Risks with Hypori
Unlike traditional MDM software, our Hypori solution takes a completely different approach to BYOD. For starters, Hypori is a virtual smartphone solution, which means no corporate data ever touches end user devices. Hypori’s innovative pixel delivery model emulates a second smartphone device, allowing end users to do their jobs without exposing your company to unnecessary risk.
In addition, administrators can quickly and efficiently lock an end user’s access to the Hypori app. Nothing needs to be wiped, and no enterprise data can be accessed offline from a deprovisioned device. Hypori also leverages FIPS 140-2 crypto and TLS 1.2 encryption along with PKI credential based multi-factor authentication, providing an added layer of security to your BYOD arsenal. Hypori’s virtual mobile technology may not be what your system admins are used to seeing, but it’s the future of truly secure BYOD.
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