Security in the BYOD Era

December 19, 2016
Security in the BYOD Era

The Identity Theft Resource Center recently reported that in 2015, over 169 million personal records became exposed through 781 security breaches. These breaches affected a wide range of businesses, including financial institutions, educational institutions, government agencies, and healthcare companies. Yet this number only includes breaches that were made public, which means that there are many others that remain unknown.

Bring your own device (BYOD) strategies can make it easier in many instances for intrusions to occur. Here are three ways that businesses can keep BYOD applications secure at all times.


A wide variety of information spreads across networks on a daily basis, and one way to eliminate vulnerabilities is to segment BYOD. Segmentation entails the separation of sensitive member account details from less important information on the network. This way personal devices can only connect to what they need to perform a job-specific task.

Prior to segmentation, IT departments need to fully comprehend how data flows in and out of the network. They also need to decide on which functions are necessary along with which ones are obsolete. With this information, IT personnel can develop a complete plan that protects crucial data, including member accounts and personnel data.

Another means of segmentation is through determining the different types of employees and their respective access requirements, segmenting based on job functionality.

To ensure that segmentation works optimally, constant monitoring is necessary. Unfortunately, many IT departments neglect to monitor effectively because of the additional amount of work required. Another way to make sure segmentation is effective is to build a firewall that controls BYOD traffic coming in and out, allowing employees to access more than one area of a network if needed without compromising security.


When employees are using public networks to access company data on their personal devices, such as at a hotel or other location with a Wi-Fi connection, anyone on the network can potentially access the device. One way to avoid the issue of privacy and security on a public network is through the use of a virtual private network (VPN) that keeps all vital data encrypted, only giving access to users who should have it. Different VPNs include different features, making it important to learn about the various VPNs before selecting one.

Mobile Device Management Software

Another potential aid for keeping BYOD protected from security risks is the use of mobile device management (MDM) software. This software is useful for businesses that want to make sure that all personal devices have the most recent security updates.

Through the implementation of MDM software, IT personnel can build unique profiles based on job function, making sure that only employees with specific access to certain areas of the network can see crucial data. Many types of MDM software can run on a variety of platforms and networks, with different features and pricing structures available.

If businesses keep these three strategies in mind and utilize them properly, BYOD can be easy to manage and consistently secure.