Bring your own device (BYOD) is prominent feature of the IT landscape, and it’s here to stay. However, mobile devices are becoming the next target for criminals attempting to access information and networks illegally. In order to avoid becoming a victim and possibly risking vital business information, organisations need to install a BYOD strategy that prevents unauthorised access to information.
The need to control IT budgets, ensure productivity and support flexible working hours drives BYOD, with staff members bringing in their own smartphones, tablets, and even PCs to work for business use.
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As was previously written in Business Review Australia, there are several advantages of instituting BYOD policies in your company. However, IT teams without constant security and a backup policy are far more likely to face growing concerns as multiple BYOD devices are linked to corporate networks and employees are increasingly access data from any place, over any device.
General manager of A/NZ, Acronis Lincoln Goldsmith agrees saying, “Every single mobile device represents an endpoint where data could be lost, stolen, or compromised.”
In fact, Gartner predicts that 38 per cent of companies will rely exclusively on BYOD policies by 2016, as 85 per cent of businesses are expected to use some type of BYOD program by 2020, while data breaches will shift to smartphones and tablets by 2017. These trends alone show the growing importance of BYOD security, as its popularity continues to increase despite the fact that it can be a hassle for CIOs and IT departments.
“An effective data protection strategy should incorporate a solution that lets IT departments monitor and correct BYOD security situations and disasters remotely, while preventing unauthorised individuals from gaining access to confidential company information,” Goldsmith said.
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“A reliable data protection solution for BYOD environments should also prevent employees from accidentally sharing information with others by implementing permissions and sharing restrictions. At all times, you should be able to tell who accessed what information and when.”
A BYOD policy can benefit businesses by reducing costs on hardware and increasing productivity. It can also lead to better data protection for employees and will often improve ease of use for applications. But a consistent BYOD data protection policy should create a sturdy balance between restriction and access for employees and employers alike, as security breaches can compromise an entire business.