Friday, August 24, 2012

Stop Threats With a Good BYOD Policy

As much as the bring-your-own-device-to-work trend pleases CIOs because it means they don't have to buy as many BlackBerrys, laptops and smartphones for employees as they used to, the thought of all those foreign devices inside the firewall terrorizes security managers. Does there need to be a custom security solution for every single device, every version of every device and every person in the company? How problematic might that become? Let's face it: A plethora of mobile devices exist and are brought into the workplace by employees who assume the right to use them—with or without IT's approval. There certainly are pros and cons on this topic. Like anything else, it starts with research, creating company policies and then enforcing them. This eWEEK slide show will help you start the whole process. Our resource for the slide show is Citrix Chief Security Strategist Kurt Roemer, who leads security, compliance, risk and privacy strategy efforts for Citrix products.

Enterprises, after some initial resistance, are embracing the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend. According to a survey released in May by Cisco Systems, 95 percent of respondents said their organizations allow employee-owned devices in the workplace, and that 76 percent said BYOD was positive for their companies and challenging for their IT departments. The benefits are clear: Employees who are allowed to use their favorite smartphones and tablets for work are more satisfied and more productive. It also can save businesses some money by not having to buy corporate-issued devices. However, enterprises are still struggling with addressing the challenges in the areas of management and security. Officials at security software company Bit9 say that a key loose end in BYOD environments is employees, many of whom don’t think about security on a daily basis or take the needed precautions to protect themselves or their company. Bit9 officials stress the need for good security policies to help avoid pitfalls, and have outlined eight technologies already on the market for mobile devices that should be enforced by the company to protect against mobile malware and other risks.


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