BYOD creates security issues among businesses

Aug 6, 2012 14:19:51Posted by John Skorick, MyAKA Founder & CEO

BYOD creates security issues among businesses

The bring your own device (BYOD) trend has been increasing in popularity with businesses across the country, which raises concerns for company and personal security. It seems as though some company owners are jumping into the trend before implementing the necessary mobile security programs to protect their data and information, according to a study conducted by OnForce.

OnForce is a company that provides businesses with IT and consumer technicians to create an efficient workspace as well as protect the company's data and internet privacies. The survey of 500 IT technicians who do BYOD work across the country showed more than half have received at least a 25 percent increase of BYOD requests in the past six months. What's more, only 31 percent of respondents were also asked to implement mobile security software to protect the business' information.

"As businesses implement BYOD, there are significant mobile security issues to keep in mind," said Gene Morris, General Manager at BrightStar Enterprise Solutions Inc. "I help businesses connect and configure personal mobile devices, and at the same time consult with them about the security risks. As BYOD continues to infiltrate the business environment, we do anticipate a significant uptick in mobile security implementations in the next 8-12 months."

According to eWeek, there are a few tips for business owners who are trying to keep malware and other security issues at bay - and they all have to do with the password or PIN.

The first step is to require employees to have a password or PIN number to unlock their devices. To strengthen this idea, individuals should have to reenter the password or PIN if they haven't used their devices in 15 minutes and they should be required to change their password every 90 days or so. These passwords should use a mix of numbers and letters so they are difficult to decode, according to the news source.

The business owner may want to install a remote wipe and disable capability. This way, if the employee loses his or her device or if it gets stolen, the information on the smartphone or tablet can be erased immediately. Employers may want to consider providing their workers with a list of applications that should not be downloaded onto the devices, as this will protect against any scammers trying to gain personal information, the media outlet reports.