BYOD and Its Impact on Network Security

The bring your own device (BYOD) trend has been picking up steam for quite some time now, leaving some IT managers scrambling to keep their networks secure. As a younger generation accustomed to using personal mobile devices for pretty much everything enters the workforce, BYOD is likely to become even more commonplace.

According to a study by CompTIA, nearly three-quarters of millennials—generally defined as those who reached young adulthood sometime around 2000—used a smart phone for work purposes over the past year, compared with just 37 percent of baby boomers. Tablets, laptops and GPS systems are also more popular among younger workers as well.

Without proper monitoring, BYOD can poke major holes in network infrastructure. For years IT teams had control of mobile devices employees were using for work, but with BYOD they are now charged with extending network access to a wide variety of devices while keeping information secure. They often worry about malware infections or vulnerable devices lost by employees and found by strangers who should not have access to company information.

Increasingly, IT teams are realizing that a multi-tiered security strategy often works best. For instance, educating users about the importance of strong passwords and keeping devices in sight at all times is crucial. Creating a formal, written policy that makes BYOD policy crystal clear for employees is helpful as well.

Of course, using top-flight network monitoring solutions is a major piece of the puzzle. With the advent of BYOD, now more than ever IT managers need a high-level, comprehensive view of everything happening on the network at a given time. Whether an employee is working in the coffee shop down the street or across the country, businesses need detailed network analysis to ensure security. BYOD is the future, and the future is here.

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