The world today is very different from what it was just a few decades ago. Many companies have improved their employees’ working conditions by allowing them to work from home and adopting BYOD. And even though the change was not intentional, it is sticking.
In 2020, the world had to go remote due to uncontrollable circumstances. And now that businesses and schools are opening back up, they have seen first-hand how remote working can benefit them. Furthermore, many institutions are rethinking BYOD and hybrid working environments for workers and students.
However, it does not come without its challenges and security concerns. So keep reading to learn more about managing cybersecurity risks in a hybrid world.
Cybersecurity in the Workplace and Schools
As you would imagine, incorporating numerous personal devices that run on different operating systems cannot be easy for an organization. Furthermore, securing all those devices to mitigate cybersecurity risks and ensure users’ privacy is even more challenging. And these issues are only amplified if you’re an underfunded school.
However, many schools and workplaces, for that matter, are implementing one of the simplest and best ways of protecting themselves. This is by training students and workers on the best ways to use their devices while using the school network and things to look out for online. The training is in the form of cyber security classes or informative handouts given to students.
In addition, Fortinet, a global leader in broad, integrated, and automated cybersecurity solutions, has pledged to train schools on online security issues in the US.
Guidance on Making BYOD a Reality
- Clarify what devices are acceptable in your organization.
- Clarify the ownership of the information stored on BYOD devices and privacy matters for both parties.
- Clarify the usage of organizational data and apps allowed to access it.
- If one of the BYOD devices is a phone, clarify who owns the number.
- Clarify if the organization is responsible for any personal devices’ acquisition or upkeep.
- Clarify all the security measures BYOD beneficiaries need to follow.
- Be agile and ready to work with people.
Does an Increase in Hybrid Working Create More or Fewer IT Challenges?
Recently, there was a leaked email from Elon Musk demanding all Tesla employees to work from the office. The email basically implied that working from home does not produce results as working from the office, but with thousands of employees swearing by hybrid working. We leave the verdict to you.
In addition, trends across the IT sector suggest that BYOD is the favoured method of IT professionals. A recent publication of bring your device statistics showed that almost 70% of IT decision-makers in the US approved of BYOD. However, as you may expect, BYOD statistics also show that the practice introduces a few risks closed-off organizations don’t have to deal with. We’ve highlighted a few below:
- Data theft: employees can easily share or lose company data on their less official devices.
- Malware: if BYOD devices are not subject to the same stringent organizational security measures present for corporate devices. They can easily be targeted by third parties and introduce malware to your organization’s network.
- Legal problems: policing data on employees’ personal devices can introduce security, privacy, and legal issues that might be hard to navigate.
- Shadow IT: employees start to use unapproved applications to help them conduct their jobs without proper authorization from the company’s IT department or management.
But, despite all these issues and how the world is pivoting, hybrid working is here to stay. Statistics show that about 36.2 million Americans will be working remotely by 2025, and even more on a hybrid system. So instead of completely shutting the idea off, consider developing procedures and processes to help you manage and monitor hybrid working. Below we’ll look at some considerations.
1. Define Your Objectives and User Needs
To determine if BYOD is for your organization, define your objectives and what problems you’re trying to solve. If it’s a suitable solution, define what workers need to do their job and how you will provide it to them. However, if BYOD introduces unacceptable risks or compromises, try another solution.
2. Create a BYOD Policy
Clearly outline the organization and employees’ rights and responsibilities. Also, outline what tasks can be handled on personal devices and how.
3. Define Your Rollout Approach
Define the type of personal devices allowed on the company’s network, how to register them, and what kind of data workers can access this way.
4. Add your Safeguards
Develop how you will monitor and enforce your BYOD policy.
BYOD. Can organizatios benefit from it?
In today’s robust and fast-paced world, it can be challenging to keep up with developments, leave alone the implications they present. For instance, hybrid working allowed schools and companies to continue working when people could not physically access their institutions. But also introduced cybersecurity issues most had never had to deal with.
However, with proper leadership, planning, and implementation of security procedures, organizations can benefit from the immense benefits BYOD offers.