IT Professionals Employing Different Methods to manage BYOD

January 3, 2013

If someone were to rank the biggest corporate trends of 2012, bring your own device (BYOD) would certainly be near the top of the list.

In a blog for SC Magazine, Scott Gode, vice president of product management and marketing at Azaleos, wrote that approximately 90 percent of companies employ some form of BYOD. At the same time, nearly 80 percent of IT departments have not adjusted their security measures accordingly.

What, then, do company and IT decision-makers need to do to make sure their employees are practicing BYOD safely? There are a number of mobile solutions available already, including mobile device management (MDM) programs.

MDM enables the organization to control who can access corporate networks and from what device. Its blocking and wiping features offer added insurance in the event an employee's laptop, tablet or smartphone is lost or stolen. However, as Gode pointed out, MDM is not a sure-fire security measure.

IT departments need to play role
IT professionals will likely be key when it comes to managing BYOD, according to a recent report by eWeek.

"We want our clients to manage security by looking at all of the endpoint devices, and the only way to get consistency in policies is to manage them in a single department," Ken Dulaney, vice president of Gartner, told the news source.

Dulaney suggested three separate security approaches depending on the type of BYOD a company employs. The safest measure is when an organization provides its workers with corporate-owned devices, but this can be expensive and isn't always a viable solution.

The other two instances involve employees using their personal laptops, tablets and smartphones for work. Dulaney recommended a "containerizing" approach, which isolate an individual's personal and work-related data.

Cloud computing may help
The cloud has provided an array of benefits for companies, including the ability to access work-related applications remotely. However, these new possibilities have also led to different security concerns.

According to a recent Compterworld report, cloud computing may actually enhance BYOD security going forward, particularly as data protection becomes a stricter legal requirement for vendors.

In the meantime, the news source advised company IT departments to establish extensive security plans. This covers anything from cybersecurity software – MDM, for example – to training employees on the safest BYOD methods. In addition, companies should have response plans in place ahead of time to mitigate the risks of a security breach.