The Risks of BYOD & How to Prevent Them

 

BYOD (bring your own device) is now a widely accepted practice. However, that doesn’t mean that BYOD security risks are no longer an issue. Security risks of BYOD are one of the main reasons why many business leaders are hesitant to adopt the practice, but with the right strategy these issues can be prevented.

 

“Adopting a BYOD policy isn’t inherently less secure, all it means is that your organization’s security measures will need some readjustments.” –  Brian Lynch, Chief Executive Officer, Bakersfield Networks

 

Despite BYOD’s risks and issues, many business leaders consider it worth the risk. That’s because companies that allow employees to use personal devices for work save an average of $350 per employee per year. It’s also a valuable employee retention strategy, as many workers are willing to switch jobs for remote options.

If you’re interested in implementing a BYOD program for your team but are worried about the risks, this article is for you. We’ll discuss some of the most common problems with BYOD and how to reduce your chances of encountering them.

 

 

6 BYOD Risks

1. Lost or Stolen Devices

If an employee loses a work device, an unauthorized individual may be able to steal information from the stolen or misplaced device. In 2022 alone, over 4.1 million phones were reported lost or stolen, averaging more than 11,000 daily incidents. This shows that the concerns about misplaced employee-owned devices aren’t unwarranted.

2. Outdated Operating Systems

Devices with outdated operating systems are vulnerable to security threats because they may not have the latest security patches. This can leave both personal and company data exposed to hackers, who often exploit known vulnerabilities in older software versions.

3. Data Loss & Data Leakage

Data loss is always a risk for both work and personal devices. Other factors can still lead to data loss even if you have near fool-proof cybersecurity standards. In fact, according to CloudSecureTech, 70% of workers who experienced data loss lost it to accidents or system failures.

 

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On the other hand, data leakage is a significant risk for BYOD devices. Many people share devices at home, so the risk of a family member gaining access to protected data is a real concern. Employees who work in public areas also run the risk of strangers seeing what they’re working on.

4. Use of Insecure Wi-Fi

72% of employees admit to using public Wi-Fi to work, with 55% doing so despite working at companies that explicitly prohibit the practice. This is a major issue since public Wi-Fi networks are often insecure. Insecure Wi-Fi networks expose data to potential interception, making it easier for attackers to eavesdrop on communications.

5. Jailbroken or Rooted Devices

Jailbroken or rooted devices can bypass standard security measures and install unverified software, increasing the risk of introducing malware into the network. This practice can compromise the security of not only the device but also the entire corporate network.

6. Additional Burden on IT Support Teams

BYOD policies increase the workload for IT support teams. They must manage various devices and operating systems, handle security incidents from these devices, and educate users on secure practices, all of which can strain resources and reduce the effectiveness of IT operations.

 

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How to Mitigate The Most Common Security Risks of BYOD

Lost or Stolen Devices
  • Use device management to enforce remote wiping if a device is lost or stolen.
  • Enforce strong passwords and device encryption.
  • Educate employees on reporting lost devices promptly.
Outdated Operating Systems
  • Require regular OS updates on all BYOD devices.
  • Use mobile device management (MDM) to monitor compliance.
  • Set up automatic updates to minimize security breach risks.
Data Loss & Data Leakage
  • Encrypt sensitive data and perform regular backups.
  • Restrict access to data based on job roles.
  • Train staff to identify and prevent accidental data sharing.
Use of Insecure Wi-Fi
  • Provide secure VPNs for connecting to company networks.
  • Educate employees on the dangers of public Wi-Fi networks.
  • Implement network security protocols to block insecure connections.
Jailbroken or Rooted Devices
  • Use MDM to detect jailbroken or rooted devices.
  • Block network access for devices that fail security checks.
  • Educate employees about the risks of downloading suspicious apps from app stores and unauthorized system modifications.
Additional Burden on IT Support Teams

 

Avoid The Problems With BYOD With Expert Help

Managing your BYOD policy isn’t difficult and doesn’t require adjustments. However, it can also be time-consuming, which may leave your staff burnt out or devices unaccounted for. Asking experts for advice can help, but you can leave your IT tasks to a trusted partner.

Bakersfield Networks can be that partner. We can do the work of monitoring, managing, and securing all devices across your network. Plus, our IT helpdesk can respond in as little as 5 minutes when you need assistance, so you will have plenty of additional resources to support all devices.

Reach out today to find out more.