Ever wondered why is it comfortable yet unsafe to use BYOD, i.e Bring Your Own Devices at office ?

In this changing world, all we need is one smart device to carry on with all our work. If all the work can’t be done at once, atleast having one device resolves a lot of daily issues. Companies thus are becoming much more open to the idea of BYOD and are encouraging its employees to respond to the same.

With BYOD, threat to the company has increased quite a lot more than it used to be. On one hand it is easier to access folders, games, files etc from personal devices attached with company’s server, on the other hand, there are huge risks of software bugs, malicious apps, data getting into the hands of a thief, and many more such scary acts which we may fall into the trap of if the system of BYOD continues.

According to Tom Suder, president of the mobile services provider Mobilegov, Federal CIOs have been facing the challenge for federal IT managers where evaluating BYOD policies is to ensure that their agency’s infrastructure is secure enough for new devices to enter the network and provide for central management. This is because even though the BYOD policy brings in employee satisfaction, and makes work smoother for him/her, business risk increases dramatically when personal and business applications intermingle, particularly if personal apps have vulnerabilities that hackers can leverage to pull business information out of a device, or to insert malware — which makes the device a conduit for infecting backend network systems.

According to data from Google’s Our Mobile Planet, the average mobile user downloads 25 apps on their smartphone, each with their own set of permissions and rights to their device. In Singapore, that number jumps to an average of 37.5. Users access these apps — for games, entertainment, travel, shopping, sports, and much more — through their personal mobile providers, but, once the device is connected to (the) network through the corporate VPN, all that traffic can reach out and touch (the) network data. Multiply those 25-32 applications by the number of users in your organization who use their personal devices for work, and that’s a lot of risk, not to mention the impact both personal and business traffic has on network bandwidth.

Mobile Device Management, blacklisting of apps and strict security is the need of the hour to monitor the outflow of data, if any, in the case of security breaches.

One thing for sure can not be pulled into full control, and that is untrustworthy employees of the company and their ignorance of the whole nuisance which can be created due to these security breaches. Gaming, usage of personal apps in the office space only brings in more and more threat to the company’s data and other resources. As a responsible employee, it is in our hand to be safe, be satisfied and keep the surrounding hygenic.