A recent study by AT&T and the Polytechnic Institute of New York University found that many small businesses allow the use of personal devices in the workplace, but there is a disconnect between acceptance and security. While 83 percent of respondents to the study support a BYOD solution, only 65 percent said that they are mindful of device security. While 82 percent have implemented security procedures for employee laptops, only 39 percent ensure the protection of tablets, and 32 percent have implemented security for smartphones used for work.
“There is a troubling disconnect between business owners who want to keep data safe and the necessary steps to protect it,” Ed Amoroso, chief security officer of AT&T told SecurityWeek. “With more employees using mobile devices, especially personal devices, business data is increasingly vulnerable to cyber threats. Protecting critical information can be easy and affordable, and small businesses need to recognize the reality of today’s environment.”
Ultimately, in order to overcome challenges and be successful with BYOD adoption, a business needs to understand all of the associated risks, and how to meet them head on. Otherwise, unexpected issues could cripple BYOD implementation and make it cause more harm than good overall.
With BYOD, security is the key thing to consider. A solution has to provide employees with access to data and applications without creating openings for unauthorized access to the same information. Too much security can hinder accessibility for employees, while not enough results in exploited vulnerabilities that can end with data loss or corporate theft. Loss can occur because a device is maliciously hacked, or simply because the employee loses it. However, there is a way to prevent data loss or theft even if an employee’s tablet is stolen.
In order for a business to prevent data loss or theft but still implement a successful BYOD initiative, it needs to invest in the access of data, not the employee’s devices. With security at the access level, a business can ensure that its data and applications are kept safe and secure on the company server, with employees remotely accessing rather than downloading it. This places security in the hands of the company, not the worker.
Remote access tools like an RDP client, allows a business to fully support a wide variety of personal devices as well, so that a business doesn’t have to limit employees to iPads or Android devices.
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