Bring your own device IT policies (often called BYOD policies) are often seen as a way to save money and increase productivity. However, there are both good and bad aspects to this policy.
The pros of BYOD policies
The pros include the ability for the employee to have more control over the device they use, more flexibility of choice of devices, and increased productivity due to using their preferred device and apps. However, this is a skewed outlook when zooming out to look at the bigger picture.
The cons of BYOD policies
The bad aspects of BYOD include more security risks, with possible malware or viruses on the employee’s personal device which affects company data, as well as a lack of synergy between company software and hardware – more use of shadow IT – and a total lack of transparency.
With BYOD policies, there is a big increase in the number of potential attack vectors for hackers to exploit. Your IT team (internal or external provider) needs to create an extensive security plan. A well thought out BOYD cyber policy will protect sensitive data from being compromised by hackers.
Potential BOYD Security Issues
The most common attack vectors for BYOD machines are:
- Malware installed on the device
- Man-in-the-middle attacks on traffic
- Unpatched or vulnerable software on the device
- Outdated or risky operating systems and applications
- Insecure Wi-Fi networks
Data leaks with BYOD
A big factor with BYOD is that employees could easily access their work accounts from their personal devices and download sensitive information from the company’s network. This can lead to data loss or theft.
Mitigating the ‘bring your own device’ risks
The use of BYOD policies has increased loads in recent years (especially during the pandemic – with the ‘mad rush’ to just keep working). But, this historical necessity needs to be addressed, and moreover, rolled back if possible. Depending on the end-user numbers, you will need thought and a rethink of your IT strategy.