With the proliferation of modern technology and increasing adoption of workplace mobility practices, the change from company provided devices to employees bringing their own devices is influencing the cyber security policies of most organizations.

Bring your own device (BYOD) is one of the most complicated headaches for IT departments because it exposes the entire organization to huge security risks.

Even though BYOD is an excellent business model—for example, it enables greater flexibility and enhances productivity—it has a substantial effect on the traditional IT structure. If employees bring their own devices, they end up interfering with corporate data.

That is why Darren Rainey, who is an experienced cyber security professional from the U.K.,  usually teaches the techniques of protecting systems from various types of attacks, including those perpetuated by BYOD devices. You can learn from him about various prevention methods.

Here are 5 key effects of BYOD on the cyber security of organizations.

1. Heighten risk of data leakage

With the current flexibility of modern workplaces and increased usage of mobile devices, the avenues of data leakage are escalating. Data leakage takes place when employees are allowed to access corporate data anywhere, anytime. Microsoft estimates that data leakage cost an average company $3.8 million.

In any organization, mobile devices are the weakest link to its security and are the most susceptible to attacks. Mobile phones and tablets need constant patch updates to seal any security loopholes.

And, if this responsibility is left in the hands of the employees, some may not care and leave the devices prone to attacks.

Therefore, before allowing employees to bring their own devices, organizations should implement robust policies that assist in keeping the devices secure. For example, if employees are educated on the risks of using mobile devices for work, they can strive to prevent leakage of data to attackers.

2. Expose vulnerabilities

BYOD security risks are enormous. The devices make organizations have minimal control over corporate data. This implies that the data is more exposed to attacks.

If employees download unsecure applications and connect to public Wi-Fi spots without sufficient protection measures, it results in serious security loopholes.

Furthermore, if employees disregard to install the latest, updated anti-virus program and other robust security systems on their mobile devices, chances of attackers infringing on the stored data are high.

As such, any bring your own device policy should ensure employees install reliable security programs on their personal devices. Employees should also be provided with technical support to ensure security measures are aptly implemented.

3. Combine personal data and corporate data

BYOD makes it difficult to distinguish between personal data and corporate data because they are both kept on the same device. So, if the device is lost, the corporate data will be accessed by any individual who gets the device.

If the lost device stores critical data, the individual who finds it can publicize the information or use the data to damage the reputation of the organization.

To address the challenge of keeping personal data and corporate data on the same location, organizations that allow BYOD should educate their employees on how to sandbox or ring-fence data.

For example, employees can keep corporate data in a specific app and ensure that the data stored can be recovered through a backup facility, in case the device is lost or stolen.

4. Increase infiltration of malware

Malware can compromise the security of BYODs. If an employee unknowingly installs malware and brings his or her personal device to work, it could spread to the organization’s network and hamper the day-to-day operations.

Malware is a huge cyber security problem in organizations. In fact, a recent report indicates that 230,000 new malware samples are created each day.

Therefore, if employees use their personal devices to work, the possibility of a new malware sample infiltrating a company’s network is high.

Furthermore, keyboard logging is another way attackers use to compromise users’ credentials. With such a tool, an attacker can record an employee’s login and password details and use the information to cause damages to the company.

To avoid malware and other malicious programs, employees should be educated to keep their mobile devices updated with the latest security patches.

Organizations should also invest in security software for monitoring and identifying risks before they cause extensive harm. This way, bring your own device security practices could be enforced.  

5. Expand IT infrastructure

BYOD compels the IT department to adjust the present company’s IT infrastructure to accommodate the personal devices. The IT staff usually identify the devices employees are using to access the company’s data.

Companies spend a lot of time and resources ensuring that the bring your own device policies are compliant with their security stipulations, something with increases IT management costs.

Therefore, to reduce the risks to your corporate data, you should carry out a comprehensive audit of your entire IT environment to ensure that your expanded IT infrastructure is devoid of any vulnerabilities.

Conclusion

Though BYOD can be beneficial to companies, it can also introduce a number of cyber security risks that should be managed properly.

Organizations should expand their security policies to include the added number of devices accessing the network, educate employees on how to keep their devices secure, and constantly monitor any security breaches.

Do you want to learn about the best practices of keeping your IT infrastructure safe from the risks of BYOD and other cyber threats?

Then, watch the hands-on tutorials on how to improve your cyber security skills at LiveEdu.

This article is sponsored by LiveEdu