Three serious BYOD security risks every business owner should know about

Three serious BYOD security risks every business owner should know about

As personal computing devices became more accessible, more and more businesses have incorporated bring your own device (BYOD) policies in the workplace. BYOD has enabled the workforce to interact with familiar devices, cutting the learning curve, and enhancing productivity. It has given employees more flexible working options and making companies more agile.

But with this convenience also come security risks. Whether you’re already implementing a BYOD policy or merely thinking of adopting one, here are the dangers it can pose to your enterprise.

1. Vulnerable data because of weak security

Personal devices do not have the same robust security as company-owned devices — they don’t have firewalls and sophisticated systems that can thwart a cyber attack. Because they have subpar defenses, they leave company data vulnerable and easy to steal. To add to this, employees bring their devices with them when they leave the office premises, and they may connect to unsecured Wi-Fi networks, further exposing your data to opportunists.

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It’s, therefore, necessary to fortify the security of personal devices. They should have up-to-date software to make sure they can fend off the latest attacks. They should also be equipped with multifactor authentication (MFA), which adds another layer of user verification on top of passwords when accessing work-related apps.

Any attempt to secure personal devices should also be done at a company-wide scale, with standardized procedures. If you need a hand, a local managed services provider (MSP) like MXOtech can help you strategically plan such implementation.

2. Data leak because of lost devices

Unlike company devices that stay in-house and are protected by onsite security, personal computing devices can be carried anywhere. This mobility is a risk because devices may be misplaced or lost forever. These devices may fall into the hands of criminals capable of breaking their (often flimsy) security, allowing them to access critical and sensitive business data, like customer information and payroll details.

Prepare for these unfortunate scenarios by having a security protocol for lost devices, like remotely wiping the device when it’s reported missing. This way, even though devices go missing, there is no danger of your data falling into the wrong hands. Implementing a robust backup and disaster recovery solution will protect your data in the event that proprietary information does fall into the wrong hands.

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Lose your device, not your data.

3. Possible infiltration because of lack of security awareness

The lack of security awareness is already the leading cause of data breaches, and when you add mobile security awareness into the mix, it gets worse. Users tend to be less vigilant in security when using their own devices than when they’re using company equipment. So when a personal device is used for work, users lower their guard and unwittingly fall prey to easily avoidable scams. For example, users may be tricked into connecting to a fake hotspot, which will allow prying eyes to peep at one’s web history and steal their passwords. Employees may also download a malware-ridden app from sites that are normally restricted in the office, compromising the security of work-related apps.

To address this concern, implement security awareness training for your employees that targets unsafe cyber behavior, with a focus on mobile cybersecurity.

If you have a business in the Greater Chicago Area, MXOtech can help mitigate the risks of implementing BYOD policy by securing every loophole. With over a decade of expertise in various industries, no one knows Chicago IT support like we do. Contact us today.

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