Sunday, 18 May 2014


Bring your own device (BYOD) is an IT policy where employees are allowed or encouraged to use their personal mobile devices (i.e. Notebooks PC, Tablets etc) to access enterprise data and systems.

Following are the four scenarios of BYOD implementation:
²  Unlimited access for personal devices
²  Access only to non-sensitive systems and data
²  Access, but with IT control over personal devices, apps and stored data
²  Access, but prevent local storage of data on personal devices

Benefits of BYOD

Improved resource utilization: Nowadays enterprise computers are mostly under-utilized due to the nature of work of different users. Introducing BYOD can address this issue by assigning appropriate devices to the users according to their tasks and responsibilities.
Flexibility and Mobility: BYOD grants users to access all business applications from anywhere which increase their efficiency and improve organizational benefits.
Increased productivity and innovation: Employees are more comfortable with a personal device and become expert using it — making them more productive. Personal devices tend to be more cutting-edge, so the enterprise benefits from the latest features. Also users upgrade to the latest hardware more frequently.
Employee satisfaction: Users use the devices they have chosen and invested in — rather than what was selected by IT. Allowing employees to use personal devices also helps them avoid carrying multiple devices.
Cost savings: BYOD programs sometimes save budget by shifting costs to the user, with employees paying for mobile devices and data services. Procuring Handheld devices (Tablet, Net-books and Smart Phones) for users instead of Notebook PCs and Desktop computers, can also reduce cost to some extent.

Consider before adopting BYOD

Personal cost: Some employees will be unwilling to invest their own money. As mobile devices replace company-provided laptops, certain employees will expect the organization to pay for these new devices as well.
Enterprise cost: Will you have the resources to manage BYOD safely? Are you willing to set up a private app store for maximum control? Will your service desk be able to handle the inevitable flood of support calls?
Enterprise control: Multiple layer of authentication Certain job functions require access to very sensitive data, and mobile devices are being embedded into business processes such as manufacturing, transportation and retail transactions. In these roles, IT needs complete control over the mobile devices and applications installed on them.

BYOD risks and mitigating strategies:

Stolen/Lost devices: Sensitive enterprise data can be comprised in case such case.
Mitigation: Prevent local storage of data on the device and remote wipe are two methods to mitigate this risk.
Mal-wares/Infections: Handheld devices are more vulnerable to mal-ware attacks as compare to IT maintained desktops.
Mitigation: Comprehensive security policy must be adopted to protect devices from infections.
User authentication and system access: Static passwords, combined with the risks of BYOD, are not enough to ensure secure remote access to sensitive business data and systems.
Mitigation: One-time passwords and alternate notification methods (e.g. text messages) are two ways to make the authentication process stronger. SSL VPN also provides secure remote connectivity without the need for software to be installed on each device.

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