BYOD & consumerization – a threat to business security

Five reasons to use Freedome for Business.

Author: Eija Paajanen
Date: 08.04.2015
Read Time: 5 Minutes

BYOD emerged as a concept back in 2009. Now, five years later, it is still present and evolving rapidly. When taking about BYOD, the benefits come in the form of more efficient and satisfied employees and cost savings. However, this is just one side of the coin.

On the other side, there are enterprise financial matters when moving from fixed assets with depreciation to paid allowances. There are also investments needed for network capacity (especially WiFi), personnel trainings and maintenance. Last but not least, there is the security issue. What would the cost to the company be in case of an information leak or cyber attack? If security issues are not taken care of properly, BYOD is not a positive business case for any company.

It is clear that the business cases of BYOD might vary based on which business the company is in. A 200-employee construction business probably does not take the same approach to BYOD as a ten-employee law firm – the security requirements for each are on a completely different scale. For example, the construction company might have only ten employees with email out of its 200, whereas in a law firm every employee would have email.

Of course, there are similarities, too. Basically, all enterprise data is confidential. Both would need a security solution that protects both in the office and on the move. And both companies would probably like their employees to use their own devices. But a security breach would have different impacts. An information leak in a ten-employee law firm could be totally fatal.

BYOD and BYOA call for device and application management

According to Gartner, 38% of enterprises will offer corporate devices to their employees in 2016. BYOD is a trend that will impact a large number of companies in one form or another. BYOD has been a growing trend for the past few years and will continue as one of the main trends along with consumerization. People want to use their own (typically better) device for work purposes as well, and enterprises have found they can cut costs by letting employees do so.

Today, company CIOs are not just talking about BYOD but also BYOA – which means that application management starts to be more crucial to enterprises.

BYOD and BYOA are not exclusive, but rather complementary approaches. The era when IT departments decided which tools employees use will soon be history. Now, those decisions are made more by the ‘community’: employees, subcontractors, customers and you decide what is the most efficient tool you should use. Typically, solutions which are chosen by the ‘community’ are actually usable, useful and in many cases free. Employees like them, use them and that increases efficiency.

Maintaining business privacy

The numbers and diversification of mobile devices create considerable security challenges to businesses – how can you make sure your company’s confidentiality and integrity are secured across disparate devices? Mobile devices are enterprise’s weakest point of failure and pose a security threat that could cause a leak of confidential information, breaches on privacy and thus, financial loss. At the same time, malware continues to grow more common and more sophisticated.

The problem is made worse when employees use the same device for both work and their personal lives. The IT manager cannot determine who the user actually is, or what the device is being used for. A work tablet, for example, may be used by the kids in the evening for downloading and playing games. As our work and private lives fuse together ever more seamlessly, it’s especially important that your business’s tools keep up with the pace.

Work has also become independent of time or place, and business content cannot be tied to just one machine anymore. Employees need to access content from their mobile devices wherever they are, and to work with, share or present it. While easy enough to do via a cloud-based solution, when it comes to business content on employee devices, keeping company security and privacy intact is another matter entirely. Security might be viewed as a major pain by the CIO.

Well-managed, BYOD is a business enabler

Although a BYOD approach may save money, the security risks are severe. Simply put, a company shouldn’t allow employees to use their own devices, unless there is device management in place to enforce corporate security profiles and policies on the devices. However, with a well-planned security strategy, together with a recommended apps approach, this pain can be turned into something positive.

To tackle these topics, F-Secure introduces Freedome for Business. And here’s why you should be interested:

1. Save money by allowing employees to bring their own devices (BYOD).
2. Save time – concentrate on your business, let us worry about security.
3. Protect your business – whenever, wherever, with any device – browsing protection and connection protection.
4. Preserve your privacy – block tracking cookies so you can hide from online advertisers. (For example, if Picasa sells your contact details, you could be a target for telemarketing.)
5. Protect your WiFi connection wherever you are with Freedome’s VPN. It is extremely easy for snoops to misuse mobile sessions. Google for ‘session hijack open WiFi’ videos and you’ll get about 76,000 results.

Freedome for Business is a feature of Protection Service for Business. PSB combines the best security with device management to provide managed security to the business mobile device fleet. This enables IT managers or service providers to secure their employees or customers in the office and on the move. It’s a combination of freedom and manageability.

Simply put: You take care of your business, we take care of your security. This is true Freedome for Business.

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