There Are Holes in your BusinessDon Cockayne
You might not have noticed it just yet, but there’s a gaping hole in the wall of your business!
Ok, don’t go outside looking for a literal hole in the wall. I’m talking about the “virtual” wall of your business. You see, just a few short years ago, your entire network existed inside the confines of your building, and the only way anyone could access it was to physically plug a device into the network inside your building. Bad guys had only one entry point, if that, through your Internet connection. Every piece of equipment that was on your network was something you bought, and you had complete control over it. Well, let me tell you, those days are gone!
Today, your employees are most likely walking into your business with any number of smart devices with them, and if you have any Wireless access in the building, they are likely connecting to it and either accessing your internal systems, chewing up bandwidth surfing the Internet, or both. Think you’ve nothing to worry about because you don’t have Wireless access in the building? Not so fast. What about the employee who has connected their smart device to their Email account and is now sending and receiving email from outside the business? That’s business activity taking place outside of your building, on equipment you didn’t buy and don’t control.
I was talking to a business owner the other day who was very surprised when one of his employees walked in to show him how he could get to his work desktop computer from his new iPad. The business owner didn’t have any idea that an employee could install software on a company PC that would then tunnel out through the Internet connection to allow remote access from an iPad. He was quite surprised to find that this employee was now cheerfully working from home, accessing company owned equipment using software that hadn’t been approved at any level by the company, without asking permission or even giving a thought to security.
Suddenly, the borders and perimeter of your business network now looks much like Swiss cheese. There’s even a new acronym that’s been created to define this adoption of personal devices for business use. It’s BYOD, or Bring Your Own Device. Your employees are bringing their own devices into the building and hooking their business email account into them. They may even be putting remote access applications in place that are potentially exposing your network to an entirely new range of risks. You really can’t ignore these changes. They are happening all around you whether you know it or not, and it’s only a matter of time before you find yourself having to deal with the ramifications of the BYOD explosion.
Think about this scenario: You find yourself terminating an employee who has simply been using their email account on their phone. How do you insure that the email account information gets removed from the phone? And what if that person happened to install a remote control application on their Desktop PC and is able to access that PC from a remote Tablet and you don’t even know they are doing that? How long will that person have access to your network after you’ve terminated their employment? Or what do you do if one of these connected device gets lost or stolen? How do you stop a complete stranger from gaining access to your system over that stolen device?
There are things that can be done to wrangle BYOD back under control, but it takes a holistic approach to IT Management, one that includes BOTH management of your entire internal network along with the ability to manage those new mobile devices. If you’re not sure the holes are being secured as soon as they open, give us a call today and we’ll help you get things under control.
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