The concept of BYOD has gained good traction over the last few years, with the Covid-19 pandemic serving as the perfect catalyst to accelerate BYOD adoption. Today, companies are empowering their employees to purchase and use their own devices, leveraging BYOD as the cornerstone of their network infrastructure to ensure business continuity under any circumstances. BYOD not only empowers employees to work from anywhere, anytime and improves their productivity, but also paves the way for quick onboarding of new users and reduces operational costs, making organizations more agile and flexible.
But endpoint security and management are two big hurdles that organizations have to overcome to implement a sustainable BYOD policy and enjoy the many benefits it offers. If poorly implemented, BYOD can open doors to several security risks and data privacy concerns. Also, managing a heterogenous set of mobile endpoints is altogether a different ballgame, compared to managing only the preconfigured corporate-issued desktops or laptops. So, it is critical that these security and manageability-related concerns are mitigate before your organization implements BYOD.
Here is how you can put in place a well formulated, secure and compliant BYOD architecture in your organization.
The right approach to BYOD:
Link corporate resources with user identities
Link corporate applications, data and virtual machines to user identities and not with endpoints. This will enable users to work using any device from anywhere, manage and maintain their personal data, while corporates maintain security and control over their business applications and data without invading user privacy. IT teams become well-equipped to maintain a well-managed secure end-user environment which accommodates a heterogenous set of endpoints.
Define granular access policies
IT teams have to define access policies at a granular level to ensure that users/user groups shall access only the data and applications that they need to perform their roles, and nothing more or nothing less. Also, while defining such policies, features like USB drive usage, copy-paste shall be enabled for only appropriate user groups and disabled for others to ensure prevention of intentional and unintentional data leakage.
Place a strong device entry control mechanism
Apart from user authentication, before allowing access from a device, the security posture of the device has to be verified using factors like AV status, firewall status, OS patch updates, browser versions and only compliant devices shall be given access. The real-time security posture check should be done every time a user is requesting access from any device.
Log all user activities
User activities in the network will have to be continuously monitored and details of who accessed what, when, from where and how should have to be logged. Such detailed logs will help organizations not only in monitoring user activities but also in ensuring regulatory compliance.
With the right security measures and a detailed, granular policy framework in place, organizations can roll out long-term BYOD strategy and reap the full benefits.