BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is here to stay. As the world goes mobile, SMB’s are embracing their use at work, viewing it as a way of saving time, increasing revenue and reducing costs.
However, with this flexibility comes increased security challenges. Using mobile devices increases the risk of threats in the workplace, particularly as cybercriminals are targeting mobile usage more and more, with mobile malware being a common threat.
Employees themselves can unintentionally become one of largest threats as they use their personal devices to access company data. Should their phones or tablets be lost or stolen, the data could be compromised. Employee negligence is also a common cause of data breaches.
On the other side of the coin, installing mobile device management (MDM) apps also helps separate work files from personal files. This allows users a sense of security, knowing their company can’t nose through their off-limits files and information.
Banning BYOD would be like trying to uninvent the wheel – it’s just not going to happen. In the real world, it is better to deal with the issue head on by instigating a planned security strategy, including the use of security apps.
Available free for both iOS and Android devices, this app protects from unsecure WiFi networks, fraudulent links and malicious applications. It also makes backups of your contacts with automatic scheduling, allowing you to access all the information online in case of data loss from a crash. It also has a built-in find-your-device setting, and you can even activate an alarm to help you track it when nearby – even if it’s on silent.
There are other features available on paid accounts, such as remote locking, privacy scans, safe browsing and protection from phishing.
For use on all common operating systems, including iOS, Android, Blackberry, Symbian OS, Windows phone and Java, this app features remote wiping, locking, back-up and restore data including photos, videos and contacts, location and SIM tracking.
This app automatically backs up the data from your phone securely to your online account. This allows you to access it at any time, so you can transfer it or store it. Anti-virus and anti-spyware protection is built in, and all new applications are automatically scanned for malware. It also gives you the option to block unknown numbers, as well as blocking emails on Blackberry and SMS messages on Android.
It has an anti-theft and location tracker, as well as a privacy manager that shows how apps are using personal information. If you are in trouble, the personal guardian allows you to use a panic button to send out a silent help message, email or tweet.
This app is best suited to Symbian and Windows mobile devices, as there are more features available on these operating systems. These include anti-theft, anti-spam, anti-virus, data encryption, privacy protection (including hiding calls and messages manually, automatically, or remotely), firewall protection, phone tracking plus parental controls. It also has the unique ability to wipe the device completely, even if the SIM has been removed.
If your work involves sending sensitive or confidential emails, this is a great app to install on your device. Available for iOS and Android, it allows users to set messages to self destruct. You can decide who can view what and for how long, and messages are encrypted with a unique key.
With the right applications and systems in place your company can embrace BYOD. As with many trends, it comes with pros and cons, but sensible management from the IT team can ensure that the pros out-weigh the cons, allowing your staff to reap the benefits. And what is good for your staff is ultimately good for your business.