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How Agencies Can Mitigate BYOD Risks

Employees, for better or worse, are pretty much always connected to work. Through the use of tablets, smartphones, and other mobile technologies, you can expect most of your staff to be checking in on email for high priority or upcoming work. While this can seem like a good thing to bosses, it can also be remarkably dangerous: how do you secure an employee's iPhone? The answer isn't just a universal “not allowed” stamp to be placed on every employee owned smartphone or netbook. People will inevitably determine a work around, leaving you out of the loop and creating an even larger risk than before. The tip provided by article author Todd Inskeep is to be prepared via policies and monitoring tools: Rather than adopting a restrictive approach that focuses on locking down specific hardware or operating systems in the workplace, thereby curtailing innovation, an enabling management approach provides access to information at a quantifiable and acceptable level of risk, based on the organization's requirements and culture. Enterprises should strive to maintain an appropriate level of control over data access beyond the organization's physical boundaries, applying policies and employing tools to monitor and enforce information management across all devices. The focus of Inskeep's article is to “start and enable versus stop and restrict”. Customize information access and verify that your staff is following the guidelines set up to help both them and your company succeed in the BYOD landscape. But the focus shouldn't just be devices: the applications running on the devices are truly where the danger lies. Creating intelligent guidelines on what applications are safe or not-so-safe to use should be a number one priority regardless of a formal BYOD plan.

About Anne Grybowski

Anne is a former staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success, with a degree in Media Studies from Penn State University.

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