Dealing with BYOD Challenges: A Balance Between Risks and Rewards

MENDY NEWMAN on July 20, 2016 | 2977

BYOD is a revolution, not only in the IT industry but also in the  much broader world of business, revolutionizing the way organizations operate and how employees work. Organizations choose BYOD to increase employee mobility, productivity, and satisfaction while saving money on device costs. Employees prefer BYOD because it allows them to use their personal laptop, tablet or phone to get their jobs done, and they also don't need to worry about carrying around separate devices for work and personal use.

BYOD is effectively ushering in a new era of flexibility and efficiency that may outweigh the logistical issues. When it comes to BYOD, it's no longer a question of "if" or "when", but "how"- How can I get the benefits of BYOD while overcoming its challenges?

A 2015 study shows a different reality about BYOD in enterprises. It shows that U.S. companies are moving away from the BYOD trend that kicked off in earnest five years ago. An online survey conducted in April and May 2015 found that 53% of IT professionals in various businesses allow no BYOD, and 40% allow a partial BYOD policy, where companies provide some devices but also allow some personal devices to access corporate systems. Only 7% of those surveyed said they allow a full BYOD policy where the company takes no responsibility for devices.

Because BYOD comes with some challenges, some companies may decide not to implement it, however, there will always remain a risk of ambitious employees who find ways to utilize personal devices even if the company forbids it. Living in an interconnected, online world, we believe BYOD is an inevitability, and therefore should be embraced by Businesses and other organizations, as well as for employees.  

Securing Sensitive Data

The task of maintaining network and data security is one of an IT administrator's greatest challenges, which has been further complicated by the proliferation of mobile devices connecting to the network. Employees and contractors can be allowed to use a wide range of personal devices to access remote desktops and applications, hosted on the organization’s servers.  But IT staff should remain aware that uncontrolled access creates openings for malicious activity, data leakage and exposure to malware.

Using a connection broker can help mitigate many of the risks associated with remote desktop connections via BYODs. Once the user connects to the organization’s network through a VPN or a remote access gateway, the remote desktop connection broker is the only thing standing in between the user’s device and sensitive corporate resources.

Reduce IT Support

Beyond mitigating BYOD device security and management issues, a remote desktop connection broker also reduces IT support requirements related to accessing numerous applications from a single device. The connection broker centralizes the maintenance of applications and desktops by residing on backend servers (TS / RDS / VDI), instead of on the end user's device, lowering both total cost of ownership as well as risks of malware contamination and distribution.

Access Requirements

Each organization's access requirements and goals are different. Some companies may limit the use of BYOD to certain employees such as executives, field/sales people, third party consultants, independent agents; others may want to extend their use to the entire workforce. A successful BYOD access security and management solution must be tailored to fit company’s needs.

Ericom offers a comprehensive portfolio of products that can completely address and solve a wide range of security and manageability issues that arise when supporting mobile devices.

Author | 130 Blog Posts

Mendy Newman

Mendy is the VP Product Management at Ericom for all its products. Mendy's team focuses on delivering implementation and architecture solutions to our customers worldwide. | Ericom Software

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