Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is, by all accounts, here to stay. In a recent Forrester survey of IT managers, for example, 90 percent of respondents expressed support for BYOD, and Forrester expects that number to grow, according to CIO.com. If improperly managed, however, BYOD comes with risks. In the Forrester survey, “three out of five respondents reported a lost or stolen smartphone within the last year, while two out of five reported a lost or stolen tablet. Twenty-six percent of respondents said their organization had data loss or leakage on a smartphone, and 23 percent said they had data loss or leakage on a tablet.” And the very nature of BYOD means that traditional security measures won’t work. To truly secure your enterprise’s data in a mobile world, you need cloud data security. Here are two of its benefits.
1. Cloud data security keeps enterprise data safe, no matter how devices connect.
In traditional security models, corporate endpoints like desktop and laptop computers are protected by antivirus and antimalware software installed directly on the endpoints, as well as by whatever firewalls and network access control measures enterprises deploy. These solutions won’t work on mobile devices, particularly employee-purchased ones. Endpoint security software typically relies on agents installed on the devices, and on frequent updates via those agents, a cumbersome approach that few find acceptable. Network security measures, meanwhile, only protect devices on the network. Mobile devices are meant to be mobile. They may connect to unsecured WiFi networks and become vulnerable to intrusion or data exfiltration, as Michael Cooney warned on PCworld. In addition, when it comes to employee-owned devices, employees themselves may download apps designed to attack their data, according to Ellyne Phneah at ZDnet.
If your data itself is protected, however, neither the devices themselves nor the networks they connect to will matter. Cloud data security measures like tokenization and persistent encryption, applied to data before it ever leaves enterprise perimeters, ensure that data remains safe no matter how employees access it or where it travels.
2. Cloud data security gives enterprises the confidence to adopt BYOD and enjoy its benefits.
When you feel confident in your enterprise’s data security, no matter what device employees use to access that data, you can free your workforce to reap the benefits of BYOD. And BYOD offers a host of business benefits. When you liberate employees from the shackles of corporate devices and enable them to conduct business on the smartphones and tablets they choose, employees become happier and, in part thanks to their higher satisfaction and in part thanks to 24/7 access to work-related documents and data, more productive. Enterprises also save on new equipment costs, as Kelly Doyle pointed out on Forbes.com. When it comes to choosing between corporate devices or the devices of their own choosing, employees have time and time again demonstrated their willingness to shoulder the cost if it means they can choose their own phones and tablets.
Cloud data security is for more than just laptops and desktops. Just as the cloud has enabled businesses and employees to enjoy round-the-clock access to the data they need to get their jobs done, so have smartphones, tablets, and the BYOD movement. And just as cloud information protection can make cloud computing as safe for enterprises as keeping everything in their own data centers, so too can cloud data security make mobility safe in the BYOD era.
What concerns does your enterprise have when it comes to mobility and BYOD? Let us know in the comments.