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Upholding Cloud Security in the BYOD Era

Is your organization taking the right steps to achieve secure and compliant cloud computing practices amid the mobile age?

Upholding Cloud Security in the BYOD Era

by Pragati Chaplot Jain | January 28, 2013

How has your company responded to widespread demand for a bring your own device (BYOD) program? If you are a mobile worker, chances are you’re not the one complaining, as the act of BYOD approval among IT departments has become commonplace. Whether IT caved under pressure or did so in recognition of its potential benefits, the fact still remains. Unfortunately, great number have rolled out their programs too quickly and are inadequately prepared for the cloud security threats they’re sure to face on the road ahead.

Tomorrow's Forecast: 100% Chance of Cloudiness

While businesses are fast adopting cloud solutions for storing data and hosting services, mobile users are actively embracing the cloud to enjoy an array of mobile applications and features such as file sharing. Not only do these apps simplify the lives of BYODers, they help to keep them more organized.  In addition, it permits them to access information across synced devices from a centralized location. Business complexities and vulnerabilities can however arise when the data belongs to the employer is leaked or breached. In a situation where corporate data gains unwarranted exposure, the question is who is to blame – IT admin or employee or the canny hacker?

Aside from threats posed by BYOD user errors, some other cloud concerns for IT departments and CIOs should be:

  • Can my competitors access my data?
  • What are the legal implications if corporate data is exposed?
  • Is my organization and my cloud vendor abiding by different BYOD compliance standards and regulations?
  • Is the cloud technology, which my BYOD users are using, mature enough to keep cybercriminals at bay?

Harnessing Holistic Control Over BYOD

To successfully secure data in the cloud, IT must strategize a way to attain complete control over their mobile ecosystem. IT admins must be aware of every mobile device entering their network, have a way to audit its trail, have an understanding of the applications and corporate resources it has access to, and what type of documents are being uploaded and shared in the cloud. Lastly, a way to determine whether cloud data has been backed up in the LAN.

IT admins must define mobile policies that monitor the data flow from different mobile devices to their cloud network.  Rick Blaisdel, a blogger at Cloudtweaks.com, suggests that while defining mobile policies, they must additionally:

  1. Define BYOD mobile policies that regulate access to corporate applications
  2. Address use of the mobile policies that are easily adopted by all BYOD employees
  3. Define policies for decommissioning: allow them to retrieve, control or delete data residing on a departing employee’s device
  4. Implement mobile tools that monitor network security, close security loopholes and prevent any data breaches

Mobile policies are resourceful tools for avoiding the cloud security risks of the BYOD world. Smart mobile policies with a blend of smart practices, processes and people can help organizations curtail their compliance issues, data losses and close out any security loop holes.

MDM for a Secure Cloud Environment

Let us not forget, today’s corporate networks are a heterogeneous mixture of smartphones, tablets, desktops, and laptops. Lest the BYOD threats trickle down into the secured state of the network, solutions such as mobile device management (MDM) are imperative to safeguard the network. MDM solutions are focussed on securing and managing not only the mobile endpoints but business assets, applications and data.

To achieve secure and compliant cloud computing practices, businesses must opt for cloud-based solutions that are recognized by different cloud regulatory bodies. A cloud-based MDM solution, MaaS360 is the first of its kind to be listed on the Cloud Security Alliance's (CSA) Security, Trust, and Assurance Registry (STAR). Click below to attain full coverage on this exciting announcement.

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Fiberlink Listed on the CSA Security, Trust and Assurance Registry (STAR)

Leader in Mobile Device Management joins Amazon, Microsoft, HP, Box.com and others to encourage transparency of security practices within cloud providers

Read more...

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