In case you haven’t heard, BYOD stands for Bring Your Own Device, and it’s a concept that’s gaining steam all across the corporate world. It’s an easy idea to understand; instead of providing company devices for your employees, you allow them to do their work on their own personal devices. You get to cut down on your overheads, and your employees get to use the devices with which they are familiar – it’s also a concept that encourages remote work.
However, BYOD policies are not without their drawbacks, and one of the most serious issues is data protection. If you give your employees remote access to your data through their own devices, your ability to protect that data is reduced. It’s why you’ll rarely find BYOD adopted in industries that handle very sensitive or valuable data, but there isn’t a business on the face of the planet that shouldn’t be working to protect their data.
What is Encryption?
The solution is to use an encryption policy alongside your BYOD policy. The movement of data across different networks and devices decreases security, so you encrypt that data to make sure it cannot be accessed by anyone but the intended user. Data can be encrypted both in transit and when it is stored in a device.
What Are Your Options?
- Network Encryption: This means that all data passing from a remote device to a server is protected against external parties who might try to read it. A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a type of network encryption.
- Sandbox Encryption: This involves the installation of a ‘sandbox’ on a personal device. It uses password-protected encryption and covers only the business files and information within that sandbox. One key benefit is that you can remove the business information without removing any personal data.
- App-Level Encryption: When you encrypt at app level, all data is held within that app and needs to be accessed via a secure password and username. If someone steals the device, they will not be able to access your business’s data without that information.
It is predicted that half of employers will adopt some kind of BYOD policy by 2017, so it’s time to start thinking about how to protect yourself when and if you decide to take that step.