Since 2016, the IT landscape has witnessed a significant adaptation and rise of BYOD in enterprises. The IT industry has always been dominated by pillars of technological growth such as social networking, smart devices, IoT and cloud computing, etc. This growth has reflected the change in the BYOD user experiences and its impact on their contribution to the enterprises.
The mobile users are enslaved unconsciously and have sunk themselves in the undefined concepts of networking and connectivity. This comprises billions of such users who exchange hunches of personal data in a global network without giving heed to the information exchange security and fall into the trap of node activity.
The basic questions that all the users should contemplate is to mitigate the security risk of digital identities and its impact on the business operations and organizations such as:
What are the mediums of exchanging data?
What are the channels of communication?
What is the host server of the user’s information received and where?
What is the IT security policy for personal assets and the need for adopting the innovation process of BYOD in business?
In this article, we shall explore what exactly is BYOD and what impact does it create on enterprise operations and security. But to understand it most thoroughly, let’s understand BYOD first.
What is a BYOD program and its application?
BYOD is one of the hottest trends in Enterprise Mobility Management and a significant industry staple for a couple of years. But how much are we aware of BYOD and its impact?
BYOD or “Bring Your Own Devices” is a concept wherein the employees, key partners and other associates in the organizations bring in their own devices such as smartphones, laptops and other technological assets and connect them with a corporate network to contribute to the organizational operations using corporate data.
What is the need for enterprise BYOD and why is it important in business?
It has been witnessed for a couple of years that the implementation of BYOD is increasing inconsistently in any domain across the globe. As per a study, it is estimated that the market of BYOD is expected to reach $350 billion by 2022 and the growth rate would peak anywhere between 2020 and 2026 to prime¹. The increase in the BYOD culture is driven because of the huge demand for smartphones and the mindset of working outside the physical office by employees for petty related tasks such as communication and corporate email access.
No doubt, the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has contributed significantly to the work from home culture and in various subjects led the employees to access corporate-related apps from their personal device. If we look at the numbers, 95% of the IT organizations have green-signaled their employees to use their personal devices for organizational tasks. However, 66% of the same employees use their devices anyway without giving much heed to the organizational BYOD and security policies and perform activities that are anyway against the rules and restricted.
Highlighting the illustrative mindset of employees to use their personal devices for work-related purposes could invite serious risk to critical assets and can potentially damage the organization’s working flow. This indicates the need for BYOD security and streamlining certain aspects of policies and practices that can be enforced so that the employee productivity is also retained and the risks involved with BYOD devices are also mitigated easily.
What are the benefits of BYOD management software in enterprise operations?
1. Improved Employee Productivity
This is no surprise to learn that the most exciting benefit of adopting the BYOD policy in any organization is enhanced employee productivity. The employees feel comfortable using their personal devices to contribute to the organizational tasks rather than randomly getting deployed with an organizational-owned chosen device. With the BYOD policy, flexible work schedules also lead to increased availability and productivity since the employees are connected to their peers and clients with their own devices without relying on reaching the physical workplace and getting hold of corporate assets.
The prime aim of every small and medium-based enterprise is to find ways to reduce as much investment as possible, especially when it comes to mobility. The major pie of investment in any IT company is represented as the purchase of technological assets and the numbers are expected to grow each year inconsistently. Empowering your employees with those technological assets and yielding contributions of their inputs for operations may come with a huge price tag, so, considering a reliable MDM software is one of the top evaluating factors the enterprises should heed for administering the deployed devices.
3. Improved Employee Satisfaction
As mentioned earlier, the employees tend to be more satisfied with their organizational operations if they have the liberty to use their personal devices at work. With the freedom to use their own devices, they tend to gain the flexibility of working as well as connecting with their peers anywhere and anytime.
What are the challenges of BYOD in enterprise operations and security?
As intriguing as the BYOD policy might sound, it is as repercussive from the corporate security point as well. With access to corporate data, if the security and network policies are not streamlined, there is a huge risk of the critical corporate assets being compromised.
The challenge of securing corporate data security in the BYOD program is one of the major concerns that enterprises in any domain face. It is evident that for the BYOD policy to be stabilized, the organizations need to exert certain frameworks and attain administration of their employee’s personal assets to a justified extent.
The implementation of policies should not only address the conditions that will mitigate the risk of corporate critical assets but also not hamper the administration and privacy of device owners. The organization can define the policies of usage of BYOD devices when not in the organization, access protection policies, data access and encryption, and locking down of corporate apps when not connected to corporate networks, and so on to maintain the operations.
The security fears that the organization might encounter in regards to BYOD security are:
Downloading and installing sketchy apps by employees
Device infection with outdated apps and active unidentified malware
Poor policies and IT administration
Mixing personal and business use in a single device without transparency
Inability to control devices and manage them with proper administration
BYOD is going to stay and grow at an unimaginable rate than ever in the coming few years. It may have reduced a huge pile of investments over hardware and software costs for the enterprises but has added an additional responsibility on the shoulders of the IT team. The IT team in any enterprise will now have to look out that the BYOD devices used are not violating any BYOD policies, frameworks, and practices that might invite critical vulnerability to organizational critical assets and data.
Why should BYOD devices be secured with MDM?
MDM solutions in BYOD define the parameter of controlling the personal assets of employees by the employer and the freedom of employees to use corporate critical assets with the organizational ability to push, deploy, secure and monitor their devices through a console centrally and virtually.
The MDM policies are majorly focused on these aspects:
Streamlining the operational framework
Security of corporate data and assets
Reduction of corporate investment
Enhancement of employee productivity
The MDM solution will streamline the security frameworks and policies that the employee can be adhered to. With a BYOD MDM, the containerization of the work profile can be achieved by the organization and the corporate assets can be selectively monitored, managed and secured.
Here are a few security solutions that MDM solution offers to BYOD policy in enterprise operations and security:
1. Separate work profile by Containerization
Containerization is a method that is often offered in conjunction with MDM solutions for Android. This method segregates the profile of BYOD devices into personal and professional compartments or protected bubbles. The work compartment is further locked down with password protection dissimilar to the personal device passcode. The container created is administered and monitored by the organization and their set of BYOD framework policies are applicable only to this bubble itself. With the method of containerization, the employees can utilize the corporate assets as well as the personal assets anytime and anywhere without the fear of inviting security concerns to corporate assets.
2. Password enforcement
The organization can enforce password protection stringent policy in the work-profile compartment created in the BYOD devices as the leakage of corporate assets is contingent and non-negotiable. The organization can enact strong password policies and amend changing passwords in a stipulated time. With the MDM solution, the IT company can also enable or consider enacting 2-factor authentication for the compartment created in employee personal assets for greater security measurement.
3. Over-the-air app updates
With the MDM solution, the IT admins can not only authorize the business applications that are needed to be installed and pushed in the BYOD devices but also update them virtually after analysis of its impact and security code. This ensures that the mission-critical applications installed on the devices are contributing to the digital security as streamlined by the organization.
4. Deleting corporate data virtually
With the MDM solution, the organization can virtually initiate a remote data wipe procedure if they come through any instance when they realize that the corporate data is hindered or compromised either by leakage, transmission, or by hacking. The organization can parse through the compartment created and wipe it so that the aftereffect of contingency is mitigated.
5. Preventing data handover between corporate and personal apps
Another important concern for enterprises is to ensure that the data flowing in through the work apps or email is not accessible via personal apps and vice-a-versa. Applying comprehensive settings to limit data copy from work apps to personal apps, pushing work email/exchange inboxes and leveraging OS-specific capabilities to encrypt corporate data via an MDM is the way to go.
It can be aforesaid that the BYOD implementation and its organizational impact in terms of corporate data security are like any enterprise mobility security concerns that require a two-way lane approach for mitigation. The process of minimizing intrusions of employee personal assets and streamlining and securing corporate-critical documents and assets to address the potential risks.
With the ease of MDM solution in BYOD policy, gaining access control on the compartmentalized corporate container/resources, pushing and deploying mission-critical apps, ensuring stringent password policies can be a solution to handle the rising trends of BYOD policy.
Ayush Maskara is a Jr. Content Writer at Scalefusion/ProMobi Technologies. A media science graduate, a photographer, a fiction author, a storyteller, fiction manuscript editor, and an avid self-help reader, Ayush has been penning the creative wisdom for six years and have stepped into the IT domain for further exploration and staying awake with technological trends across the globe.