By Tara Savage, Security Marketing Manager, BT
The rise and rise of BYOD has to be seen as a welcome challenge to organisations.
A challenge because it undoubtedly brings security concerns, and welcome because the opportunities come thick and fast too, with savvy organisations really benefiting from a new way of working.
Typically in the first 30 minutes of being awake on a work day you might access your company’s network in two or three different ways.
You might check your emails on your smartphone before you get out of bed, and again on your laptop over breakfast. Then you could browse reports on a tablet over a mobile network on the bus.
You might not of course, but that is clearly a feasible scenario. Over the last few years people have become increasingly promiscuous with how they access their business networks. And it’s not a reversible trend, so it shouldn’t be resisted.
Besides, the benefits are so numerous that it’d be foolish to get bogged-down by issues that only need a little considered thought.
Embracing BYOD can help you be more productive and reduce expenditure. Many people prefer to use their own equipment, so readying your network to support new devices not only mean’s your organisation is more up-to-date and adaptable, but also that you can save money on equipment your workforce already owns.
There are undoubtedly security concerns and data ownership issues, but equally there are effective ways of overcoming them.
Supporting different devices and their operating systems — and protecting their networks from the associated threats — is a big challenge for IT departments.
The problems of keeping tabs on who’s accessing their network and why, and protecting against the threats of malicious attack and viruses are ever present, but sensible preparations and good security practices mean organisations shouldn’t worry about being compromised.
With the right security and authentification procedures, your IT department need never be overwhelmed by the rise in BYOD.
As long as each user understands the risks associated with more open network access, and the way the data they access can be view on their devices then there shouldn’t be a problem.
An effective approach to managing the risks associated with BYOD must also be vendor neutral and open, regardless of however and whenever users choose to connect to your network.
And the beauty of the situation is that it’s here, it’s happening and everyone is in the same boat. The only thing for it is to accept and embrace BYOD.
The sooner you do, the sooner you can start cashing-in on the advantages of a more adaptable, accessible and user friendly network.