As more employers support bring your own device (BYOD) policies, more are recognizing the need to manage the security of these devices. While there’s no doubt that having employees use their own devices is a proven and cost-effective way to improve collaboration and communication, the approach often does open up serious security questions regarding sensitive data and information.
Early approaches to BYOD security required that IT teams implement complex and costly security measures. However, the rise of cloud computing has ushered in a new era of BYOD security and functionality. In addition to improving security measures, the cloud makes it easier to manage multiple connections to a company network.
The BYOD Influx
During the early days of the digital and Internet revolution, it was commonplace for companies to issue their own dedicated devices to employees. These devices were carefully monitored and controlled, and they often had limited functionality. This approach wasn’t particularly cost-effective; companies had to invest a great deal in devices with limited uses, and it was inevitable that employees would end up using business devices for personal reasons. This, in turn, compromised security and raised employer costs.
Having employees use their own devices to access business networks and resources soon became an obvious alternative. With the rise of cloud computing, the BYOD approach is expected to soar to new heights of popularity.
In essence, the cloud can support the network architecture needed to run multiple devices without requiring expensive hardware investments. Also, because network data can be stored in the cloud rather than on the end user’s device, security is vastly improved. All sensitive and valuable information remains in a single, centralized online location.
This approach protects companies from security breaches arising from any of the following threats:
- Lost or stolen devices,
- Compromised or hacked devices, or
- Malware and malicious attacks.
Cloud solutions give IT teams the ability to remotely access and disable lost or stolen devices. In addition, they eliminate the need to secure each individual device. Instead, security updates, network access, and app installations are centrally managed.
While cloud technology is continuing to evolve, it is expected to define the business communication landscape in the near future. Integrating cloud-based BYOD solutions expands the reach of businesses and gives employees the tools they need to be more productive, more efficient, and more collaborative.