Monthly Archives: September 2012

Beyond Bring Your Own Device

Beyond Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

Many businesses have adopted an IT policy of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) to save money and provide employees with the flexibility of staying connected when they travel, work from home and spend time in the field.  The BYOD policy allows employees to use personal smart phones and tablets for business purposes.

According to research firm Computer Economics, companies can save between $1350 and $3500 annually by adopting a BYOD policy.  In addition, employees can be more productive and have higher job satisfaction with a IT mobility plan.

According to research by the Computer Technology Industry Association, CompTIA, security is the primary issue for IT Managers when it comes to mobility.  The number one risk cited is loss or theft of a mobile device.  Seventy percent of those surveyed implement mobile device password locking as part of their data protection plan for mobile devices.

However, a four digit password in itself is not enough security, so there are a number of additional precautions companies should take to protect valuable corporate data.

Here are a few recommendations you may consider to help mitigate risk from your BYOD policy:

Have employees agree to a policy of notifying the company in a timely manner when a device is lost or stolen.  If the company uses technology to “wipe” corporate data from the mobile device ensure employees keep personal data separate or prevent company data from residing on the mobile device all together.

Local laws may prevent an employer from wiping or “rooting” a mobile device upon loss, theft or employee termination.  If you do business in foreign countries be aware of the governing laws if you implement a BYOD policy.

If an employee is attaching to your corporate or WiFi network, consider auditing your network for unauthorized mobile devices.  Also, consider implementing corporate guidelines for supported mobile devices.  Have a policy that ensures all mobile devices are up to date with Operating System O/S Patches and also have up to date anti-virus and anti-malware installed.

If employees are accessing corporate systems using mobile applications, publish a list of “white listed” or approved applications.  Additionally, publish a list of “black listed” or unauthorized mobile applications.   In the alternative, consider maintaining a private or enterprise application store to manage the distribution and updates for approved mobile applications.

If employees use cloud based data sharing, create company policy and guidelines for what, if any, corporate data may reside on mobile devices.  If corporate data is authorized for a mobile device consider encrypting the data on the device, as well as, the data transmitting Over The Air (OTA).

Security is the top priority when it comes to implementing a company Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy.  There are a variety of technical solutions, in addition to policy based issues required to safely and securely implement a BYOD policy.  Consult with your IT Service Provider to ensure your mobile device policy is a secure one.

Internet Browser Security Tips

Internet Browser Security Tips

Left unprotected, Internet browsers including: Google Chrome, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and Apple Safari are increasingly vulnerable to software attacks and may be a place where malicious software, aka Malware can infiltrate your PC and ultimately breach your network security. There are many things you can do to proactively protect your PC and ultimately protect your data. Here are some tips for avoiding malware and other vulnerabilities from your internet browser.

Keep Your Internet Browser Current

Software publishers routinely release new versions of their internet browsers. Many times these new versions include security patches and updates designed to protect you from attack. While these publishers put their best foot forward into the newest version of their internet browser, they may retire older versions. When they retire these old browsers, they may no longer provide security updates and support. By consulting your IT support professional you can protect your company assets and also receive better performance with enhanced Internet experience.

Keep Your Internet Browser Updated

Software companies publish security patches to keep current and prior versions of their Internet browsers safe from known security vulnerabilities and attacks. By applying these updates as they become available, you minimize your risk of attack. As a policy, you should keep your operating systems and other applications current with security patches to ensure network compliance and avoid unnecessary and unintended interruptions or data loss.

Review and Configure Your Internet Security Options

Most Internet browsers provide options to configure Internet security and Internet privacy settings. The highest levels of security may limit the number of sites you can visit. Lower levels of security may provide options for the user to determine which sites are safe to visit and also prompt the user as to which sites are safe to download files and other content.

Install and Update Anti-Virus and Anti-Malware Software

Your browser updates and security settings are your first line of defense in keeping your data protected. Should your systems suffer compromise in the form of a virus or malware intrusion, having up to date Anti-Virus and Anti-Malware software installed may prevent infection when an unintended file or download slips through the cracks.

The Internet is a powerful tool that adds to your company’s productivity and offers competitive advantage. With proper consideration for security, you can safely browse the Internet without concern. If you are not certain about your Internet browser security, updates to Anti-Virus or Anti-Malware software, contact your IT Support team for a consultation.