Bringing back BYOD: Addressing BYOD security risks through employee training
Apr 02, 2015
Experts have continually preached the importance and value of staff member training as part of a BYOD initiative. It seems, though, that the organizations that are still having a hard time trusting their employees to use their own mobile devices haven’t gotten this message.[/caption]
Recently, the CIO of one company shared the reasons why his firm has a strict no BYOD policy. However, Network World contributor Tom Kaneshige noted that this doesn’t stop employees from inquiring from time to time why they can’t use their own mobile hardware for work purposes.
CIO says no to BYOD
Kaneshige outlined the case of Rosendin Electric, a utility company with thousands of employees on staff. Currently, workers leverage hundreds of smartphones and over 400 tablets while at the office and on the go – none of which belong to them. The business spends a considerable sum to arm their agents with this mobile tech instead of opting for the BYOD approach that has become popular throughout a number of industries.
“We would probably never have a BYOD environment here,” insists Sam Lamonica, Rosendin Electric CIO.
Employees’ poor choices
While a number of factors play into Lamonica’s decision, one of the most pertinent is the fact he can’t guarantee that his workers will make the right choices when it comes to security. In this way, Lamonica sees BYOD as an overall threat to company data, and not the beneficial program that it could become.
“We have a user base that might not, in a lot of cases, make the right choices,” he said.
Although this seems a bit surprising, Kaneshige noted that Lamonica isn’t alone in his choice. There is currently a new movement taking hold in the business world where company leaders are prohibiting the use of personal mobile devices at work due to the connected BYOD security risks. A recent CompTIA survey underscores this finding, showing that 51 percent of enterprise respondents aren’t supporting BYOD initiatives.
Employee training to prevent BYOD security risks
The issue of trusting employees is an impactful one. Administrators worry that when left to their own devices – literally and figuratively speaking – their staff members may make bad choices when it comes to sharing business files and carrying out other processes on their smartphones and tablets. This concern isn’t unwarranted – a study by the Ponemon Institute found that 39 percent of the data breaches occurring in businesses came as a result of general employee negligence, stated Breaking Gov.
However, there is an effective way to mitigate this risk: provide employees with all the skills and know-how needed before allowing them to leverage their own mobile devices at work. Experts have continually preached the importance and value of staff member training as part of a BYOD initiative. It seems, though, that the organizations that are still having a hard time trusting their employees haven’t gotten this message.
What to include in employee BYOD training
To properly mitigate the BYOD security risks that can arise with the use of personal mobile hardware in the office, companies must explain their concerns and share with employees the information they need to address these threats. There are several key aspects to touch on here, including the f