The future of BYOD: BYOA, CYOD risks and solutions

Feb 10, 2015

2015-02-10 Mobile Security.jpgAs organizations seek to establish an increasingly mobile workforce, bring-your-own-device initiatives have really flourished.

Current telecommuting levels rose 80 percent from 2005 to 2012, according to Global Workplace Analytics and Telework Research Network statistics reported by Fast Company. Furthermore, within the next two years these practices will expand by an additional 21 percent to total 3.9 million telecommuters.

However, without BYOD, a remote workforce cannot be supported, and therefore, has little chance of being successful. As the BYOD trend continues to grow, it is developing to include some new practices like bring-your-own-applications and choose-your-own-device. BYOA and CYOD may have their advantages, but they come with their unique sets of security risks as well that must be addressed.

Is CYOD the future?
IDC’s European mobility team head John Delaney said at a recent Business Transformed event that it seems as though CYOD will be the future of corporate mobility, PCR reported. He bases this opinion on the fact that European employees are not adopting BYOD as quickly as their American counterparts, and have begun offering CYOD instead.

“What we’re actually seeing in Europe now is an increase preference for CYOD – ‘Choose Your Own Device,’ whereby the employer has a list of devices from which the employee can select what they want,” Delaney said.

However, this eliminates many of the perks provided by BYOD. Some of the main advantages of BYOD include the ability to utilize a single, familiar device for both corporate and personal purposes. If workers choose another device solely for business, they must now keep track of both their own device, as well as the one they chose from their employer. This can increase the chances of either endpoint being lost or stolen, potentially compromising company-owned sensitive data.

For some businesses, this may seem an attractive option. While it may not be the future of BYOD per say, by combining a CYOD strategy with an endpoint protection technology, many security risks can be eliminated. Remote wiping capabilities will ensure that if one of an employee’s devices is lost, all sensitive information connected with the company can be removed.

BYOD security risks with BYOA
TechRadar Pro noted that many employees are now selecting and downloading their own apps within a bring-your-own-app approach. However, this can create additional BYOD security risks and could lead to unacceptable shadow IT practices.

Ovum also noted that this could be a sign of bad strategizing by the IT team.

“If employees are sourcing their own applications to do their job, then IT is not delivering the right tools or a good enough user experience for its employees,” said Ovum technology analyst Richard Absalom.

When employees choose their own apps, they may not put the programs through the rigorous security testing required for business. Enterprise apps must have the right protection measures to ensure the safety of corporate data, especially if the program is used to transmit this content.

Instead of putting the company at risk, organizational leaders should leverage a secure file sharing platform that provides the security measures needed to prevent unauthorized access of sensitive content.