Scary BYOD Data Protection Trends: 10 Common Problems

 
 
By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2013-07-22 Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    1 - Scary BYOD Data Protection Trends: 10 Common Problems
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    Scary BYOD Data Protection Trends: 10 Common Problems

    by Chris Preimesberger
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    2 - Most Enterprises Have No Policy in Place
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    Most Enterprises Have No Policy in Place

    Despite the continued onslaught of personal devices in the workplace as a result of BYOD trends, approximately 60 percent of companies still don't have a BYOD policy in place. With employees often preferring to work on tablets, cell phones and laptops, companies need to adapt to the changing times and find ways to embrace the BYOD movement and help employees work securely on personal devices.
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    3 - Most Companies Haven't Educated Employees on BYOD
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    Most Companies Haven't Educated Employees on BYOD

    Nearly 80 percent of organizations reported that they have not even educated employees on BYOD best practices, risks or procedures. This careless BYOD behavior can put sensitive company data in jeopardy with potentially devastating effects if it falls into the wrong hands.
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    4 - Executive Exceptions Are an Issue
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    Executive Exceptions Are an Issue

    Of the approximately 40 percent of companies that actually do have a personal device policy in place, 24 percent make exceptions for executives. Because corporate executives are likely the ones working with the most highly sensitive data in the company, this seems counterintuitive for data protection and security. After all, a CEO's tablet is just as susceptible to theft as an intern's.
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    5 - Many Enterprises Still in Denial About BYOD
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    Many Enterprises Still in Denial About BYOD

    Nearly one-third of respondents are still in denial about BYOD, forbidding any personal devices to access the company network. Banning personal device use is largely unrealistic in today's day and age and may actually hinder productivity and collaboration advantages. Instead of mandating an unsustainable policy, with the proper policies and education, personal device use can be safely and securely incorporated into company settings.
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    6 - Workarounds Are Common and Can Be Dangerous
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    Workarounds Are Common and Can Be Dangerous

    Despite restricted personal device usage, many employees recognize the productivity gains of BYOD and will find workarounds, potentially using insecure cloud apps like Dropbox to share corporate files between devices. This is a problem all by itself, because 67 percent of organizations don't have a policy in place around public cloud usage.
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    7 - Simple Security Precautions Going Unused
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    Simple Security Precautions Going Unused

    Surprisingly, only 31 percent of organizations mandate simple security precautions such as a device password or keylocks on personal devices, putting sensitive data all the more at risk for theft, corruption and hacking. Such simple procedures can go a long way to ensuring sensitive data remains safe and secure. But the majority of enterprises that have BYOD security policies in place are overcomplicating things: 68 percent use VPN or secure gateway connections across networks and systems.
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    8 - Few Companies Using Remote Device Wipes
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    Few Companies Using Remote Device Wipes

    Part of creating a secure mobile device policy is accounting for personally owned devices entering and leaving the workplace, which is often referred to as the take-your-own-device (TYOD) trend. If not properly managed through processes like remote wipe, TYOD could cause major data leakage; however, only 21 percent of those surveyed perform remote device wipes when employees leave the organization.
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    9 - Mac/iOS Compliance and Interoperablity Remain Big Issues
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    Mac/iOS Compliance and Interoperablity Remain Big Issues

    Even though 65 percent of enterprises plan to support Macs in the next 10 months and 75 percent in the next two years, companies may not be as prepared as they thought. It turns out that 57 percent of organizations claim that compatibility and interoperability are still big obstacles to getting Macs compliant with IT. This puts data stored on Mac/Apple devices at even greater risk.
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    10 - Lack of BYOD Policies Can Have Devastating Effects
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    Lack of BYOD Policies Can Have Devastating Effects

    BYOD carelessness is jeopardizing confidential data, exposing it to theft, corruption, hackers and malware, which has the potential for devastating effects, including contributing to the $2.1 million loss in system downtime organizations were found to experience every year.
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    11 - First Steps to Getting This Problem Fixed
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    First Steps to Getting This Problem Fixed

    So, what can be done to ensure data is safe amid BYOD trends? Below are five BYOD survival tips for keeping data safe and secure in light of increasing personal-device use on corporate networks: Tip 1: create a mobile device security policy; Tip 2: stop making exceptions to your policy; Tip 3: make "safe BYOD" everyone's responsibility; Tip 4: prepare for the coming of Apple; and Tip 5: don't underestimate the dangers of public clouds.
 

When employees use personal, mobile devices for work, they aren't usually thinking about security issues. Bring-your-own-device (BYOD) habits are all about finding the fastest and most effective way to get work done, whether that means using a tablet at home, a smartphone in a meeting or a laptop at a desk. However, this obviously can present major data protection and security issues for IT, especially because most organizations don't have control over how employees are mixing and matching work devices and data with their other day-to-day activities. So, sensitive files are traveling outside the office, often without encryption or other simple security measures, leaving data exposed to theft, loss or corruption. This can be a nightmare for any industry, especially those that are under regulatory scrutiny, such as finance or health care. Acronis' 2013 Data Protection Trends Research, conducted by the Ponemon Institute and released July 17, sheds some light on the issues. Findings from a healthy sampling of 4,300 respondents worldwide showed that there are real data safety issues resulting from a lack of BYOD policies and best-practice awareness.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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