The BYOD(evice) Dilemma

Before you address the technological aspects of bringing your own device and the security issues that come with it, address the common aspects: Mobile devices are just that – mobile. You can take them most anywhere. If employees are going to access sensitive company data on their devices, you have to make it clear that you are trusting them to look after their devices. It’s not just a physical theft issue; data theft can take place, particularly when one signs into a public Wi-Fi network.

Use common sense regarding when and where you carry your device. Have awareness of where you are and if you’re accessing a network in a public place. Security is a two-way street. You want your company’s data to stay secure no matter where your employees take their devices, but you also want to be aware of new devices that may be assessing your company’s network. A virus-riddled tablet computer can bring an entire network to its knees.


One solution is to have a guest network apart from your company network. If a device hasn’t passed muster with your company’s IT department, a guest network can keep it segregated, effectively quarantining any malicious software.

It’s always a good idea to consider multiple layers of networking. You can work with your IT people to design and construct a guest network but still allow it to talk to the main network. It’s also a good idea to clearly understand data breach laws and limit the types of data we collect.

Even if you don’t believe someone is out to steal your data, it’s important to protect yourself against hackers and information theft. That fact shouldn’t discourage you from allowing a BYOD policy, but it should prompt you to start a high-level dialogue within your company regarding how you’ll address the issues that accompany it.

Our company has launched a new Mobile Device Management service called BlueCloud MDM within our data center security practice that provides industry-best features, superb default security policies, and is integrated with our services.

Cloud MDM provides a complete solution for managing mobile devices, applications and content, with support for every mobile platform. Unlike hosted email vendors whose only “mobile security” answer is ActiveSync, and unlike other MDM vendors who simply sell tools and leave the messy policy work to customers, BlueCloud MDM offers a solution that provides everything customers need to be successful, one that combines technology, policy and law.

We live in a data centric world where as soon as we gather information, we’re disseminating it. BYOD is a part of that. It offers tremendous advantages as far as timeliness and efficiency but the flip side is security and corporate responsibility. There are 1,001 ways to rob the bank. You have to come up with 1,002 ways to prevent it.

Link to CBC Magazine: