NPC News
Proper Endpoint Protection Mitigates BYOD Risk

October 7th 2013

Now that bring your own device (BYOD) is hitting mainstream adoption in the workplace, decision-makers need to ensure their endpoint protection strategies are up to date and capable of safeguarding mission-critical information at all times. While BYOD can introduce numerous benefits, the programs may also cause employees to leverage infected smartphones or laptops when carrying out crucial tasks, increasing network vulnerabilities and the chances of a breach.

Dark Reading recently highlighted the inevitability of BYOD programs and the security challenges that come along with embracing the trend. Businesses need to ensure the workforce understands the importance of implementing robust information protection strategies, as failing to do so will turn unsecured gadgets in the workplace into doors for malicious outsiders.

"If companies think they are going to stop [BYOD], they really are not," IT security expert Frank Andrus told Dark Reading. "End users are really becoming part of the security model. The attacker is using them as a launching point into the network."

Experts suggest that companies learn how embracing mobile connectivity can jeopardize the security of confidential assets and the steps that must be taken to reduce this risk.

Taking threats out of BYOD

The first step to securing the mobile landscape is to understand the environment as a whole, Dark Reading noted. This means that decision-makers must assess how many platforms are being used in and outside of the workplace and the ways those gadgets are connecting to confidential assets. If businesses do not have any visibility into their mobile strategies, they will have no way of knowing what needs to be defended and how they can reduce risk.

Executives also need to recognize that endpoint security is a two-way street in the sense that it is up to companies to protect employees from malicious outsiders, but also to safeguard critical resources from unsecured workers who do not know they are inviting risk into the network, Dark Reading reported.

A recent report by research firm Ovum found that roughly 80 percent of all BYOD endeavors go unmanaged. This means that companies are not taking any initiative to safeguard confidential resources being accessed through employee smartphones, laptops or tablets.

There is no doubt that the mobile landscape will continue to pressure the business world in the coming years. If decision-makers are not proactive in defending themselves against the new threats that these projects introduce, however, they will encounter substantial problems when embracing BYOD.

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