Apprehension surrounding enterprise BYOD has always revolved around security, especially in the hands of the average blasé end user. In a survey conducted by Webroot in late 2013 through March 2014, results found that only 19% of employees had installed a full security app and 64% were limited to using only the security available on their devices. The general lack of concern and growing list of demands from employees has driven many businesses to simply forgoing BYOD altogether. But as consumerization gains more of a foothold within the enterprise, those businesses should reconsider towing the hard line in favor of a more user-friendly mindset.
Brian Taylor recently interviewed Israel Lifshitz, founder and CEO of Nubo Software for TechRepublic about the perils of balancing the BYOD user with the security posture it takes to properly safeguard the enterprise. Perhaps most significantly, they discussed the three trends Lifshitz sees in the imminent future of personal devices used in the work environment.
“I think we will see more complicated enterprise apps, like CRM and ERP, because now companies realize that they want to be more productive, and are deciding they want to invest more in mobile apps. This will cause other problems with BYOD, because it will be much more complicated to secure the data. ERP and CRM data is much more sensitive than email.”
Stronger Device and OS Security
“The second trend is more of a relief for security, even for a security vendor like us -- that is, manufacturers are starting to take security more seriously, and they are adding more security features to mobile devices. It is interesting, because I think mobile operating systems are more secure than desktop operating systems, both Android and iOS.”
More User Freedom
“Something that I think is already happening, a third trend, is that IT understands that they cannot force users to have specific devices. So basically, the trend is less IT control and more end user freedom. Soon you will see things like enterprise app stores, where a user can decide between different kinds of apps. Basically, IT will have some control, but less and less, so it is about how we can maintain good security with less control. But when there are security compromises, IT will still be responsible for them.”
When asked about the best way to balance security with the user, Lifshitz wisely explained that BYOD began as a result of user demand. It was created to benefit employees. So compartmentalizing specific policies within your greater strategy can be incredibly helpful, especially when it comes to separating the business elements from the personal elements. It’s more than possible to maintain rigorous security while enabling your users with personalized choices — IT needs to be cognizant of the business case behind specific policies, and that includes enabling employee satisfaction, even if it means dancing pigs. A happy staff is a productive staff and the business will thank you for it.