While several enterprises have adopted the bring your own device (BYOD) work trend that allows their employees the convenience of using their personal devices to access corporate data and software to work from anywhere, it also presents an added responsibility and workload for the enterprise’s IT teams. However, despite this drawback enterprises are increasingly indulging in the BYOD work environment owing to its immense benefits such as workplace flexibility, increase in productivity and much more.
But, simply adopting the BYOD setup is not enough, enterprises are required to contemplate their BYOD policies which most importantly involve strengthening their device and data security in order to prevent their confidential business data from being leaked or misused. According to a report1, the global demand for the BYOD security market is expected to generate revenue of around USD 80.58 Billion by end of 2026, growing at a CAGR of around 30.7% between 2020 and 2026.
Why is there a need for an enterprise BYOD security strategy?
In order to operate in a secure BYOD environment, enterprises are required to establish clear policies for all employees accessing corporate data and tools on their personal devices. Despite educating employees of the BYOD security best practices, enterprises might suffer from the risk of data loss from an employee whether intended or not, which makes it crucial for enterprises to lay down strict compliance policies.
An enterprise’s BYOD policies typically comprise of a set of rules defining which software, applications, websites are permitted to be used on the employee’s personal devices, assigning security controls such as user authentications, allowances for data sharing, data loss protection and much more.
Challenges in BYOD security
While enterprises realize the value of BYOD and the related policies that are needed to construct a secure BYOD environment, there are several challenges that an enterprise’s IT team faces in doing so, the foremost being, management of BYO devices. Once an enterprise permits its employees to step outside their office perimeters with access to their corporate data, it becomes increasingly difficult for the enterprise’s IT admins to keep track and monitor these scattered devices for their compliance. Additionally, poor security policies, mixing of employee’s corporate and private data, employee’s uncooperative approach, or careless outlook towards compliance policies are several other factors that make streamlining BYOD security challenging.
Due to this, most enterprises have begun partnering with Mobile Device Management (MDM) solutions to reduce the load on their IT teams and to establish robust BYOD security policies. Comprehensive MDM solutions like Scalefusion offer a wide array of features to secure corporate data and emails in a BYOD environment.
Role of Scalefusion in reinforcing data and email security for the BYOD environment?
Scalefusion MDM offers IT, admins of enterprises, a single unified console to monitor and manage the policies and compliance statuses of multiples types of devices including smartphones, laptops, tablets and much more containing varied operating systems such as Android, iOS, macOS and Windows 10, which makes it a perfect choice to manage an organization’s BYOD policies. Some of the policies that Scalefusion extends for BYOD email and data security include;
1. Verified user authentication
IT admins of organizations can enforce a passcode policy on the BYO devices used by their employees to standardize the complexity of the passcodes and the frequency at which passwords should be updated. When working outside office facilities, passcode policies are the first and foremost way to ensure data security. The use of strong passwords goes a long way in preventing unauthorized access to employees’ devices.
Additionally, Scalefusion extends a 2-factor authentication to access its dashboard, making it safe even for IT admins to function in a BYOD environment. With 2-factor authentication, the device inventory data is not susceptible to unauthorized access.
2. Corporate email security
Scalefusion MDM offers the ‘Conditional Email Access’ policy for Exchange Online and IceWarp which enables IT admins of organizations to restrict corporate email access for all devices of their organization that are not enrolled with the MDM solution. This ensures that every user, whether new or existing enrolls their device(s) with Scalefusion MDM and accepts the compliance policies that are pre-set for the devices by the enterprise.
Scalefusion also allows IT admins to target specific users for this policy and extend a defined grace period during which the users can leverage unhampered corporate mailbox access. The users however are expected to enroll the devices with the MDM within the grace period to leverage continued corporate email services on their BYO devices.
3. Privacy management & data breach prevention
Organizations can ensure that their corporate data does not fuse with their private data with Scalefusion’s work profile for Android devices. This work profile acts as an exclusive container for work apps and data on which the enterprise policies are applicable. This ensures that the employee’s private data is kept isolated from the corporate data and that the employee can use his/her personal apps without any restrictions. Windows Information Protection policy, Apple BYOD capabilities to prevent data transfer from corporate to personal apps and vice versa play a big role in ensuring corporate data confidentiality in a BYOD scenario, which can be leveraged from the Scalefusion dashboard.
IT admins can also set policies from the dashboard to restrict actions on devices such as taking screenshots, screen recordings while operating from their work profiles to ensure no corporate data is breached.
4. Use of untrusted networks
The ability to work from anywhere, as interesting as it may sound, also means that the employees have to rely on the internet and networks that are available to them without always questioning their reliability. One of the easiest ways cyber-criminals hack into corporate networks and access confidential data is by taking advantage of devices that are connected to the internet via untrustworthy Wi-Fi or other networks.
Scalefusion helps IT admins push network and Virtual Private Network (VPN) settings on their employees’ personal devices to ensure the usage of a secure, encrypted network to prevent employees from unintentionally falling prey to cyber-attacks.
It is true that personal devices are more susceptible to malware and confidential data leakage. However, enterprises that are certain of their acceptance towards BYOD implementation require a multi-faceted approach to ensure their data security. Context-aware MDM solutions like Scalefusion can help enterprises achieve stringent data and email security and reap the benefits of a BYOD environment.
Shambhavi is a Senior Content Writer at Promobi Technologies with prior experience in commercial writing, creative planning, product cataloging, and content strategizing. She is a "Biotechnologist turned writer" and believes that the inception of great ideas happens over coffee.