Security concerns of BYOD

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BYOD (Bring your own device) is an increasingly popular trend within businesses.

Mobile devices come in all shapes and sizes, from smartphones and tablets to laptops and even smart watches.

But while BYOD is can be advantageous in many scenarios, it can also open your organisation up to serious security concerns.

Security concerns of BYOD

Software updates

Are your employees keeping their devices up to date with the latest operating system and third party program security updates? While it’s true that devices are getting very good and keeping themselves up to date, it is still important to have a policy in place to monitor updates and ensure there have been no errors that may have prevented updates from being applied.

Business vs Personal

Employees using their device for personal use may encounter websites or files that could cause damage and data loss. They may also allow family members or friends to use the device without their supervision.

When the device is brought back into the office environment and connected to the business network, malicious programs have the opportunity to spread to other computers on the network.

Data backup Policy

When using personal devices an employee may become complacent in where they store their work files. Instead of putting documents on a network share or a cloud storage solution they may opt to place files directly on their computers hard drive. Not only does this mean files may not be backed up, it also presents possible data security issues.

Physical Security

Devices taken outside of the work place are more susceptible to theft. The result of this could be lost working hours while a replacement device is purchased or more seriously the loss of company data which has the potential to incur legal or financial penalties.

End of life

Once a device has reach the end of its life, are you ensuring that any data has been securely removed from the device before it is disposed of? It is not enough to simply format the machine. The only sure way of disposing of data is to physically damage the disk.

 

While it is possible to mitigate the risks that BYOD brings through the use of hardware solutions, the most cost effect option is to educate your staff members. Providing your employees with the skills and knowledge to operate their devices safely can save you time, money and potentially your businesses reputation.

What is virtualisation and how can it help your business

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What is virtualisation?

Virtualisation is the process of creating virtual instances of a device or resource. Multiplying an asset, whether it be a server, storage device or operating system without the requirement of additional hardware.

The simplest example of this would be partitioning a hard drive.

Although you are using one hard drive, the act of partitioning creates multiple virtual hard drives, identifiable with their own drive letter.

At the other end of the spectrum the same scenario can be used with complete operating systems.
With one high powered machine managing multiple independent operating systems.

Why is virtualisation useful

Virtualisation can provide savings on the cost of hardware, and sometimes software e.g. Windows Server 2012R2 Data Centre Licenses. Virtualisation is also flexible, easier to manage, more robust, allows quicker provisioning of workstations for new staff members, improves disaster recovery and a whole host of other benefits.

What type of business is virtualisation suited to?

Virtualisation is best leveraged in large organisations with the requirement of high availability. The tasks that are best suited for a virtualised environment would be word processing, web browsing, accounting etc.

In organisations where an individual requires a high level of computing power e.g. Graphic Designer, Photographer, CAD Operator etc. then individual workstations still reign supreme.

Sounds great! What’s the catch?

Because you are putting all your eggs in one basket as it were, it is essential that the servers and storage that are powering your business have robust backup and failover in place. For this reason, there is often a very high financial outlay for creating such a system. However, when compared to the benefits it is still an attractive proposition.


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