Friday, 23 December 2011

Merry Christmas! You're A Security Threat

If you are the proud recipient of a shiny tablet or state of the art smartphone this Christmas and you plan to use it at work, attaching to the corporate network to download emails and some data, then you are a security threat.

BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is fast becoming the biggest threat to corporate security as people synchronise files over all their devices, regardless of whether they are company owned or not, using technology like, Dropbox, Evernote, Microsoft OneNote and Google Docs. It's the biggest advantage of the new age of such devices and the emergence of Cloud applications to enable such working. But that massive advantage to productivity comes at a cost.

To date, CIOs reamin somewhat laissez faire to the whole issue, but all you need is an executive's iPad or smartphone to get stolen and, suddenly, a non-company owned and controlled asset could be in the hands of a nosy stranger or, worse still, a thief. Although some devices can require the input of a 4 digit pin, that could be fairly easy to get around. Then you have all the applications on the device that have accessed the corporate data, like email and office productivity tools and any files that may be shared on common storage areas.

While there are ways to protect the machines and the data more rigorously, few fall under the remit of the central security policy of big companies - and that has to be a Governance issue at minimum. In the world of the US SOX regulations, that could be corporate negligence which Directors sign up to personally.

It isn't actually the users' problem, you might argue. But as many of the users of BYOD devices are company directors or senior management then I would argue there is a responsibility in many cases.

This year, BYOD will raise its head on the agenda of many big companies but it will be hugely important to SMBs too. As more technology moves into the Cloud, it may become less easy to know exactly what assets are accessing your network and where. 

Companies like Bradford Networks have a strong solution tuned to the BYOD threat to turn it from threat to a major productivity opportunity. 

You just have to make sure you control of the access to data on your network. It's been the core requirement of IT departments and remains so.

Cal +44 207 193 2356 for more information.

No comments: