BYOD: protect the information, not the device

Data-centric policies enable BYOD

According to a survey conducted by Znet and TechRepublic, up to 62 percent of organizations will have moved closer to implementing a “bring your own device” (BYOD) program by the end of 2013. Other sources peg the number of organizations with programs at 36 percent by 2016, and a Gartner survey says it will 50 percent by 2017. Regardless of exactly where the number falls, one thing is for certain: the BYOD cat is out of the bag. An increasingly mobile workforce coupled with improved connectivity means that companies are turning to the options to make sure their work force is connected at all times.

But while a BYOD program can offer some level of flexibility to the workforce, it is not without risks. The combination of fuzzy discovery  regulations rules and possibility of leaving a phone filled to the brim with corporate secrets on a city bus could keep any sufficiently engaged GC up at night. For the risk adverse, the only concrete solution could be to purchase hardware for the team, or opt to keep work and personal lives totally separate (a dubious proposition in an always-on world.)

The data-centric approach focuses more on the permissions of who can access what via any platform versus what is stored on the device that the employee uses for both work and personal matters. “You want that data carrying its protection with it wherever it goes because it’s now possible for that data to proliferate across the world. People can duplicate it on USB sticks, or across their various mobile devices or sync it to Dropbox. If the information carries its protection with it, you’ll have a much easier time establishing an audit trail to know where and with who that data is.”

More lock tight data protection means that regardless of the device, no one but the intended parties will be able to gain access to information, making BYOD easier to implement and maintain. Similarly, “containerization” software ensures that separate space is dedicated to both work and personal information.

Executive Editor

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Chris DiMarco

Chris DiMarco, Executive Editor of InsideCounsel magazine, has a background in multimedia production with previous involvement in projects in which he developed and created content...

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