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Three ways to ensure security on a BYOD worksite


Organisations can gain from significant cost savings, increase in productivity and improvement in employee satisfaction by having a BYOD policy in place.

However, the Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) practice continues to present many challenges for operational IT teams. Colin McCabe, senior manager, platform business unit, Red Hat explains that BYOD is adding to the need for more open standards for data and application access, as concerns around data security continue to grow.

According to Colin McCabe, companies are less concerned about allowing BYOD in the workplace, expressing greater concern over the need to keep an organisation's data secure at all times. Organisations that permit BYOD need to be sure it won’t create cracks in the security of the business or compromise compliance with data security laws. To protect businesses and their customers, Colin McCabe offers three tips to improve BYOD security at the workplace.

Three recommendations to improve BYOD security

1. Set up your employees’ devices as you would your own company’s.

Implement and install mobile device management software, business-level encryption protocols, screen locking, secure remote access and up-to-date programs to eliminate viruses and malware. Never assume your employees’ home computers are using firewalls and security software, or that their phones are password or virus protected.

2. Set policies regarding how much data can go offsite.

Creating data and content takes time; the value is not just in terms of the business processes, but the opportunity cost of time spent on recreating anything lost, not to mention IT recovery time, physical costs, and the value of intellectual property. Once it is lost or stolen, all the money and resources gone into the creation of data and content is gone, and then there is the cost burden of trying to get it back.

3. Establish a clear chain of command.

The end responsibility for all data and application security lies with the CIO. The CIO should either ensure their security personnel have the correct level of knowledge and understanding of data security, or use third parties to complement their efforts.

Colin McCabe concludes by saying the benefits of BYOD far outweigh the risks once the right security measures, policies and procedures are put in place, so it is critical companies take the appropriate steps to get there.

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