Mobile devices are still one of the leading threats that organizations worldwide are being forced to counter. Mobile device management presents a serious challenge to an organization: employees today may bring in and use a multitude of devices, operating on numerous different networks, and potentially compromising a wide selection of data. As cyber attackers are increasingly targeting mobile devices for information and access, BYOD policies and mobile device management have become even more essential.
Here are three of the top BYOD risks facing organizations today.
1. Lost and Physically Stolen Devices
When most individuals think of IT security, they think of software -- not hardware. But the physical theft of devices can be a substantial risk. Reports have shown that many individuals -- if not most -- do not properly secure their smartphones with passwords or pass codes. All it takes is the theft of a single device and an individual could gain access to personal and confidential emails, servers, and other protected information.
2. Mobile Device Malware
Malware is increasingly becoming a risk for mobile devices. There have been many high-profile Android viruses and other malicious programs in just the last two years. Malware can come in the form of viruses that can infect a network or keyloggers that could collect privileged information from an employee and send it back to an unknown third-party. Either way, it becomes very difficult to protect against malicious programs introduced through mobile devices because IT personnel may not have control over the device. If a personal device is infected, it can be a substantial risk: it can interact with the employee's activities without being discovered by the network's security system.
3. Disgruntled Employees
Malicious insiders are a serious risk to a business, and with a mobile device in hand, a disgruntled employee often has all they need to create issues for an organization. Comprehensive authentication protocols are necessary to combat this threat. From mobile phones to laptops, many employees are able to leave an organization with confidential information on their devices. Data-in-motion services can be used to control the information that employees can see and restrict access from employees who have severed their relationship with the organization.
Smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices are going to continue to proliferate across the IT canvas. It's up to IT professionals to find ways to manage these devices through a controlled and consolidated network infrastructure. Organizations today ignore issues related to BYOD at their own peril.
Image source: Luke Wroblewski