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Identifying and Mitigating BYOD Risks

With BYOD, the more precautions you've taken, the better off you'll be. Learn what approaches are being taken to address the challenges of managing a mobile workforce.

Identifying and Mitigating BYOD Risks

by Rob Patey | December 03, 2012

As enterprise IT looks to work bring your own device (BYOD) into their mobility strategies, advocates recommend they take stringent measures to tighten policies that will ensure secure and productive use of employee-owned smartphones and tablets. For small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), there is much at stake; data loss is more common and expense decreases are savory.

While the security threats may seem daunting, searching for and destroying them is not an impossibility. For companies of all sizes, new advances in mobile device management (MDM), mobile application management (MAM), mobile device security, and devices themselves can help mitigate the risks of BYOD.

Data loss prevention in BYOD

Lost and stolen devices containing sensitive corporate information are among the leading causes of enterprise data breaches. Fortunately, the threats posed by such mishaps can be countered by use of MDM solutions that enable remote data wipes. Though many have found such actions be the perfect antidote for this issue, this is not an endpoint for dangers within BYOD-supported workplaces.

According to a recent report by FierceMobileIT, citing research from the Information Security Forum, accidental data leaks are inherent to unsecured or unsupported mobile devices that are used for corporate functions.

"The potential risks include misuse of the device itself, outside exploitation of software vulnerabilities and the deployment of poorly tested, unreliable business apps. The question of who owns the device can also have legal ramifications on mobile device management and the remote wiping of devices should the need arise," the report said.

Though these are very real concerns, businesses can easily mitigate the risks by using MDM in conjunction with MAM and mobile device security solutions. By having complete control of all devices used for corporate functions, and ensuring consistent information governance through strong policies, businesses can enjoy the benefits of BYOD without worrying about these threats.

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