Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) according to Wikipedia refers to the policy of permitting employees to bring personally owned devices such as laptops, tablets, and smart phones to their workplace, and use those devices to access privilege company information and application.
BYOD gives employee the flexibility of using devices of their choice, running the OS of their choice which in its own way promotes productivity due to employee’s familiarity with the devices and also the comfortability and satisfaction which they derive using such device
BYOD also unburdens the concern and cost of providing, maintaining/servicing, tracking, and upgrading devices from corporate organization’s that embrace BYOD.
Although BYOD as several advantages ranging from cost saving to the organization and increase in productivity. Nevertheless, the cons that comes with it can’t be overlooked and are extremely important to always consider whenever an organization is going the BYOD way. The main con factor is SECURITY, with BYOD you can’t control the hardware and software that employee uses, you can’t put restriction on the devices, you don’t have control over it, you can’t regulate what can be installed and what can’t be installed on it. All the aforementioned can lead to virus/malware invasion, data loss which can happen due to device theft or employee leaving with Company’s information etc.
In order to enjoy the benefits of BYOD and avert the cons, there have to be a middle ground. Even though employee is allowed to bring in their own devices, the devices may need to be onboarded/provisioned with company’s endpoint security, DNS Security, and Web security agent which will always communicate with the company’s Endpoint/DNS/Web security server which must have a cloud extension so that agents installed on employee onboarded devices can always communicate with the server either on-premise or off-premise. This will ensure the device is protected even when used to browse the internet off-site, this will limit the possibility of virus/malware infection. Also, there should be a network access solution which will be integrated to whatever Endpoint, DNS, and Web Security solution being used. This will ensure that every device that is being allowed access to the company’s network infrastructure have been properly onboarded and deemed compliant. For example, let’s say a particular employee device have been compromised due to malware infection, the company’s cloud endpoint security server would have discovered due to communication with the agent installed on the device. Therefore, the endpoint security server will communicate this to the network access control solution which will place the endpoint into quarantine or remediation state whenever it tries to connect to Company’s network/resource either through wire, wireless, or VPN medium.
Carefully selecting the right and needed security solutions/technologies that are integrable, and that can be centralized will help whatever organization that embrace BYOD to at least help employee protect their devices thereby reducing the probability of a security breach that BYOD might cause.
Ayorinde Ajibola Kusimo is a seasoned network security expert with seven years’ experience in design and implementation of network security solutions such as Next Generation Firewall (NGFW), Web/URL Security Solution, Intrusion Prevention/Detection System (IPS/IDS), Malware Protection System, Network Access Control (NAC) Solution etc.
In order to add value to the cyber community, he also has a website through which he shares his technical experience in a practical way. Ayorinde has so far published several network securities “how to” on his website and also uploaded several videos to his YouTube channel.