One in four businesses is likely to experience a data breach, with the average cyberattack costing businesses up to $3.62 million in 2017, according to a Security Intelligence study. With this in mind, there’s a lot at stake when it comes to protecting sensitive data. While companies are doing their best to protect and restore their data from attacks, giving employees unconstrained access to company files and systems via their personal devices, including smartphones, laptops and tablets, is not a reliable practice for keeping data secure. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what is happening when companies don’t establish their own BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policies.
The risk even becomes higher when an employee leaves the company, creating uncertainty about the security of the data that was in their hands. Here is a proactive approach to solidifying your BYOD policies, especially when it comes to dealing with such threats.
Compartmentalize the Potential Risks You Face
Data theft by employees is on the rise, with 20% of employees confirming that they would probably steal company data when fired. 90% of these admit they would do so since their employer didn’t have any policies in place to stop them. The question is: how do you eliminate this risk? The secret lies in differentiating the most sensitive data from the less sensitive so you can easily optimize endpoint protection for your business. This creates visibility in your BYOD security policy.
Whether your employees are accessing your company’s data in the cloud or using external storage devices like flash disks and memory cards to store and access data on their laptops, smartphones or tablets, it’s advisable to categorize all your data into compartments so you can monitor them more effectively. These include emails, business operational data, inventory data, mobile data and others. While you may not be planning to fire an employee, you can never predict what the future holds. Therefore, planning BYOD security strategies like data compartmentalization is key to protecting your company’s data.
Keep a Close Eye on All Data Transactions
Securing your company’s data is not just about investing in the latest technology. It’s common for employees to keep copies of data they have access to on their devices. While real-time data access from anywhere and any location is great for today’s modern and ever-growing remote workforce, this can pose some risks if an employee leaves. You need to constantly monitor all data transactions and be clear that any data within your company’s servers is your property.
To facilitate this, consider putting in place security policies that alert you when company data is accessed or copied without proper procedure. Having in place a strict BYOD policy that governs data access management will make your work a lot easier. With access control, you can dictate who accesses specific data, how they can access it, what they can do with it and from where they can access it.
Make Use of Intermediary Data Security Technologies
The biggest concern for IT heads in companies is trying to track down sensitive data that ends up in the hands of employees in a company, whether still employed or not. What they do with that data is a matter of guesswork. That’s why implementing other intermediary data security conditions to strengthen your BYOD security policy is highly recommended. Cloud-based technology is the leading face in the fight against unauthorized data access today.
A solution that allows you to control user access permissions will give you the oversight needed to better manage your sensitive company data. Combining these steps with other technologies like containerization that allows IT operations to become more responsive and flexible, can also help you solidify your data security policies, as you can easily delete employee accounts and data on their work-related devices once they leave the company.
Taking these steps to solidify your BYOD policies will help you make positive gains in securing your data, but it will not work if your employees are not aware of your data security policies. To ensure compliance, you need to train your employees about your BYOD policies and do regular checks on company systems, employee devices and other access points to identify anything out of place. This will help you minimize any workplace data security risks.
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