IT Brief NZ - BYOD security: Protect your data before it's too late

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BYOD security: Protect your data before it's too late

With BYOD now a permanent feature of the IT landscape, mobile devices have become the next target for criminals looking to access information and networks illegally. This means it's more important than ever for businesses to have a BYOD data protection policy, according to Acronis.

The need to control IT budgets, ensure productivity and support flexible working hours drives BYOD, with staff bringing in their own smartphones, tablets, and even PCs for business use. 

However, IT teams without a consistent security and backup policy are likely to face mounting concerns as multiple BYOD devices are linked to corporate networks and employees are increasingly accessing data from any place, over any device, says Acronis.

Lincoln Goldsmith, Acronis general manager ANZ, says, “Every single mobile device represents an endpoint where data could be lost, stolen, or compromised.”

Gartner predicts 38% of companies will rely exclusively on BYOD policies by 2016, with 85% of businesses expected to use some form of BYOD program by 2020.

In turn, data breaches will shift to tablets and smartphones by 2017.

To avoid becoming a victim and potentially compromising vital business information, organisations should implement BYOD strategies that prevent unauthorised access to information, Acronis says.

Goldsmith says, “An effective data protection strategy should incorporate a solution that lets IT departments monitor and correct BYOD security situations and disasters remotely, while preventing unauthorised individuals from gaining access to confidential company information. 

“A reliable data protection solution for BYOD environments should also prevent employees from accidentally sharing information with others by implementing permissions and sharing restrictions.

“At all times, you should be able to tell who accessed what information and when.“ 

A BYOD policy can benefit businesses by reducing costs on hardware and improving productivity. For employees, it can lead to better data protection and often improve ease of use for applications.

However, a consistent BYOD data protection policy should strike a sound balance between access and restriction for both employees and employers, according to Acronis.

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