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2 BYOD Security Concerns and How to Avoid Them

July 31, 2017

2 BYOD Security Concerns and How to Avoid Them

As your customers make the transition from providing corporate-owned computing devices into BYOD policies, and as you make the transition from a simple equipment reseller into a trusted security and technology advisor, you'll begin to field a number of questions around your customers' BYOD security concerns. How well you answer these questions could determine how successful your customers' BYOD initiatives become. Here are two key BYOD security concerns to understand.

1. Data breaches due to insecure devices

As expensive and inconvenient as they may be, corporate-issued device programs have stuck around for so long in large part because of the increased security they provide. When every device an employee uses for business purposes comes selected, serviced, and secured by the IT department, organizations enjoy a greater level of control over the devices and the data they handle. Not so with BYOD, which introduces large numbers of devices outside of the IT department's direct control. Corporations often fear that employee-owned devices will have security vulnerabilities or be used in an unsafe manner, increasing the risk of a costly data breach.

Luckily for BYOD organizations, however, technology solutions exist to alleviate many common security and privacy concerns, including Mobile Device Management (MDM) solutions that check and validate mobile devices' security settings before allowing them to connect to the corporate network.

2. Data breaches due to lost or stolen devices

Along with insecure devices, lost or stolen BYOD devices also make for prominent BYOD security concerns. A BYOD device capable of accessing corporate data, or with corporate data stored on it, can become a privacy nightmare for an organization if the device ends up in the wrong hands. And, unfortunately, smartphones and laptops are lost or stolen every day, endangering corporate compliance and data security. Corporate-owned devices typically come with strong authentication requirements, making their loss or theft less worrying. BYOD devices are often easier to get into and therefore pose greater concern for the enterprise.

As with device security concerns, however, there are technologies that can minimize or mitigate the risks of data breaches due to lost or stolen devices. MDM solutions can help by providing "remote wipe" capabilities to remove corporate data from a device as soon as it is reported lost or stolen. Other endpoint security solutions can help keep devices locked down more securely and in accordance with corporate policy.

In general, BYOD security concerns typically revolve around control. Organizations are used to exercising a great deal of control over every device used to access corporate data or conduct corporate business, and opening up the floodgates of BYOD can create significant anxiety. As you work with your customers to modernize their networks and prepare their backend infrastructure for the BYOD future, make sure you address their BYOD security concerns. And if you don't feel prepared to tackle those security concerns, speak with an Ingram Micro information security and business development specialist today to get up to speed.

What BYOD security concerns have your customers raised? Tell us what you've been hearing in the comments.