BYOD and the Risk Mobile Apps Present

Brands today are constantly dealing with their employees and external clients bringing and using their devices on corporate networks. These issues must not be taken lightly as there is much that can go wrong.

A brand's internal mobile app faces many risks when used on devices not their own. When a brand develops an app in house to facilitate internal company processes, there are quite a few different options they can choose.

For example, brands can choose to outsource their development or keep it in house. Brands can choose to make their app available in their own app store, available only to those with security clearance or on a public one such as the Apple store of Google Play. These questions are just a few that brands should ask themselves before deciding what is the best option and makes the most sense.

One of the primary challenges that brands face today is whether they should be making their app BYOD-ready or making an app that will work on only a few select devices. Quite a few brands use the CYOD (Choose Your Own Device) which is primarily for work use only, but many also choose the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) option.

BYOD Risks

When selecting the BYOD option, brands should know they come with heavy risks. These risks include both company intellectual property protection as well as security. Below are just a few examples:

Unsecured Networks

Even though the network infrastructure at a company's office may be secure and the network at an employee's home may be secure, brands need to take into account all the spots in between where their employees are using their phones such as the local Starbucks or Barnes and Noble, where networks are generally not secure. Of course this doesn't even take into account the rampant multitude of insecure networks your employees may be using when traveling from place to place. This is where the real risk comes as brand data is vulnerable to attacks from outsiders who can simply snoop in on your employee's activities such as email and documents.

Not Installing Security Updates

iOS and Android push new updates to their operating system quite regularly. These updates not only come with new features, fixes to existing ones and changes to the look of the user interface, they also come with security updates. Many employees tend to forgo these updates, saying that it takes time to get accustomed to them and they are happy with the way their phone works now. Little do they know, there are important security updates and they may putting their device at risk if they don't keep up with these updates.

Device Loss

How many times have you heard the statement: “Where's my phone?” With devices becoming more and more compact, also comes the risk of losing them or even getting them stolen. Employees who feel that they are always in control of their devices might not have locks on their mobile device or password protected and if the device falls into the wrong hands, valuable company information can easily be compromised.

Knowing the Risks

It is paramount that a brand knows the security risks when implementing a BYOD policy. If a brand's app falls prey to negligence on the part of an employee which may cause the security of the app to be violated, then company secrets may fall into the wrong hands. Such examples would be an employee downloading an unknown file into the brand's app or uploading classified brand info to their social app. You really don't know many of the risks until they come back to haunt you. You should not be put into that situation.

Preventing the Risks that Come with BYOD

The primary defense against the most common BYOD risks aforementioned as with any other risks that may rear their ugly heads in the future is security. You need to employ a solid security apparatus in your app.

This security system will take into account such capabilities as the following:

  • Detailed control on what users can access within apps and what apps overall
  • The option of wiping a device clean if lost, stolen, or an employee is fired
  • The ability to protect company data on mobile devices

Of course what type of security works for your brand is entirely up to you. You need to see which choices are out there that fit your requirements the best.