BYOD Security Threats Persist, Despite Growth

BYOD and other comparable enterprise mobile policies continue to grow in popularity as device makers and technology firms establish deployment best practices and develop effective network management techniques. However, despite this growth, salient security issues persist. 

Outdated devices and software
Technology giants such as Apple and Android regularly release software updates containing reinforced security features. Unfortunately, few mobile users take the time to install these packages, according to a Duo Security study covered in Computer Weekly. Over 90 percent of Android adherents deploy devices with outdated software and nearly one-third use Ice Cream Sandwich or older iterations that debuted more than five years ago. Apple users aren't much better about updating their devices – only 20 percent of them are running the latest OS release.

This, of course, poses major problems for internal information technology staff and third-party partners, as smartphones with aging software are difficult to protect from new-and-improved attack vectors.

Ineffective backend system visibility
Companies must closely track network usage to protect employee-owned mobile devices and the sensitive information that lies within them. Unfortunately, many fail in this regard, TechRepublic reported. Last year, the consulting firm Crowd Research Partners surveyed more than 800 organizational IT leaders. Approximately 56 percent of respondents attested to mitigating instances of unauthorized system access. Visibility is the answer to this common problem, as sophisticated system monitoring can prevent intruders from accessing internal networks and making off with sensitive corporate or employee information.

"Companies must closely track network usage to protect BYOD devices."

Lax employee usage protocols
Even the most wide-ranging security solutions cannot protect users who unwittingly engaged in risky mobile behaviors such as downloading applications from unfamiliar online marketplaces. Last year, millions did this and downloaded Trojan horse applications designed to infect enterprise networks, TechRepublic reported. In fact, more than half of the respondents surveyed for the Crowd Research Partners study observed such conduct firsthand, watching as coworkers navigated risky digital terrain riddled with data security pitfalls. In the end, more than 72 percent of respondents oversaw instances of data loss, which often come as a result of these behaviors.

While these problems do pose serious threats to BYOD-equipped businesses, there are a variety of available solutions. Third-party security firms can provide enterprise-level monitoring and encryption services, while device and software makers offer defensive solutions that meld with their products. Additionally, organizations looking to solve these and other BYOD challenges can embark on the IT modernization journey, giving their IT operations the tools they need to effectively protect and advise employees. The Inventu Flynet Viewer eases this process, meeting the needs of businesses and employees in a way that feels both familiar and simple.

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