How to protect your organisation against the associated threats of BYOD

August 24, 2012

The growing popularity of portable devices such as laptops, smartphones and tablet computers is allowing organisations across the world to completely revolutionise the way they communicate with customers as well as internally.

This has given birth to the idea of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), in which employees are permitted to utilise their own technology inside the organisation to access company resources such as email and information databases.

However many organisations are now realising that using external devices in this manner brings certain risks related to cyber security, and a recent study has confirmed that businesses are being forced to change their vulnerability management protocols in order to adapt to the BYOD era.

The survey, which was sponsored by Juniper Networks and undertaken by Forrester Consulting, saw over 200 IT decision makers from organisations across Australia and New Zealand interviewed as to the way BYOD had affected their business.

More than three quarters – 76 per cent – of respondents indicated that they felt that they are at risk because of BYOD programs, however just 37 per cent affirmed that they felt their company was adequately prepared for this new cyber security threat.

This is concerning when placed in context with another survey published earlier this year by Fortinet which found that, of 3,872 university graduates interviewed, 30 per cent admitted that they would be willing to use non-approved applications on their BYOD device while in the workplace.

That was despite 42 per cent of respondents claiming that they understood the increased threat that BYOD brings, including but not limited to data loss and exposure to external security threats.

According to Mark Iles, the Juniper Networks Australia and New Zealand managing director, businesses looking to protect themselves against the risk of BYOD need to utilise more all-inclusive security protocols rather than solutions.

said Mr Iles in a press release issued August 17.

For that reason, businesses who are currently utilising BYOD programs, or are planning to in the future, should consider undergoing a security audit in order to fully evaluate the potential vulnerabilities of the organisation.

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