Welcome!

Security Authors: Liz McMillan, Vincent Brasseur, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Gilad Parann-Nissany

Related Topics: Security, Java, Wireless, Web 2.0

Security: Article

Defining BYOD Policies

In 2013, analysts say there was an 81% growth of mobile devices worldwide.

The rise of mobile is still going strong and it shows no signs of stopping!, In 2013, analysts say there was an 81% growth of mobile devices worldwide.

Actually, according to the new Cisco report - "Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update" - the mobile traffic in 2013 was 18 times the size of the entire internet in 2000. The study reports that in 2013 the internet traffic per user averaged 356MB of data a month. Even more amazing, is that the trend expects it to increase to 3GB per user in 2018.

All of these changes - the use of mobile data, the internet of things - all have real world applications on our businesses. Now, if you've been getting comfortable with BYOD so far, be careful with the expected twists and turns. More and more devices are being introduced to the market, new services and apps as well. Despite the turbulent start, everyone seems to be jumping on the BYOD wagon; but some companies, who are not planning ahead, should really start looking forward for those upcoming pot holes. CIOs can expect real security threats to emerge, hidden costs, legal affairs with employees and many other issues... The solution? An effective policy covering all angles of the BYOD practice from all its perspectives and of course an MDM tool.

Over the last months organizations' employees have embraced the BYOD practices, CIOs are concerned about security issues, lawyers have given their advice, and MDM vendors have taken their message to the companies. But while CIOs try to come up with the best solution to police this practice, users continue to buy more products and increase the type of devices.

Aberdeen considers that understanding what is going on is a must. They ran a survey this January to find out that 3 of 4 responders have a BYOD program in place; yet two thirds of these plans are not enforcing compliance, security, or legal policies.

Mark Charleton from Blue Solutions told us that CIOs are concerned and thankful with the MDM vendors for pushing their messages of compliance and security to the business managers. This helps them to take this topic to the management table in order to become a BYOD enabler together with the other operational areas including HR, Sales, Marketing, Operations and Legal.

However, all these concerns about hidden costs and hard-to-measure worker productivity don't matter to the employees as their convenience to have business and personal lives blended in one single device. Somehow the tables have turned, the employees are in the driver's seat!

The Dirty Little Secret

Horror... horror!

When it comes to BYOD expense reporting, employee's behavior isn't exactly criminal, but it is cheating. The temptation to submit a huge expense report for the personal smartphone that might have been used for work purposes could be too high to resist.

According to the mobile consultancy "Network Sourcing Advisors," even when the BYOD policies clearly state otherwise employees include their family plans, upgraded phones and termination fees to their BYOD expense plans. Executive globe-trotters would rack up huge international charges and float them past the inattentive eyes of finance.

Companies often counter this abuse by putting a monthly stipend or cap on reimbursement. But let's be honest, most people will ask for the highest stipend and sign up for the biggest data plan so that they won't be hit with overage charges.

The fact is that employees don't really want to pay for their smartphones, tablets, and laptops. They just want an easy-to-use device for their work and their personal life, and of course it is better if the company pays the bill.

This trend is racing towards chaos in the 2014. The number of smartphones, tables and even Laptops under the BYOD umbrella is increasing by day. Complications and confusions are forcing changes to BYOD policies.

Can you COPE?

Some few companies have enabled a hybrid approach called COPE - Company Owned, Personal Enabled - model. COPE is the opposite of BYOD. Businesses using a COPE strategy provide their employees with IT devices and gadgets to be used and managed by them; the companies maintain ownership of such devices, so they can monitor and control their activity to a complete degree. Besides business purposes, employees can use their devices for their personal activities. COPE may be a less expensive option that BYOD, in which employees are often reimbursed for all or part of the cost of the devices they buy. This is because if the company buys devices, it can generally get them for less than retail price. COPE also gives the company more power in terms of policing and protecting devices, thus reducing many of the BYOD risks.

In 2014 and 2015 companies not using COPE will put practical BYOD programs and policies in place. Both mobile models imply the need to accelerate the businesses and move to SaaS. To those that can't COPE, modernize their core applications and become mobile friendly will become a must.

More Strict BYOD Policies

Let's face it, not all companies have budget enough to COPE; so BYOD will yet continue to be a growing trend. Sooner or later, these companies will need to develop effective BYOD policies. Policies should be defined in each area according to the employees activities and needs, to then be detailed and defined mainly by the Finance, Human Resources, and Legal departments that will be in charge of the available budgets and the legal implications that follow.

Once these policies are set up, they can be merged with an MDM tool, this way all the devices would be safely managed and controlled by the responsible areas.

BYOD Lawsuits Loom as Work Gets Personal

Will BYOD lead to a rash of lawsuits from employees who feel violated? Or maybe a headline-grabbing, class-action lawsuit? Companies better make sure they have an explicit terms-of-use BYOD agreement.

Like most tragic love stories, the BYOD affair may end up abruptly. In the early days of BYOD, say, 2013, employees fell madly in love with the idea of using their own iPhones, Android smartphones and new tablets for work. They could finally ditch corporate-issued and boring cell phones.

In a beginning BYOD promised that employees and employers would live happily ever after. But the BYOD romance suddenly turned sour. Employees are now questioning the intrusion of corporate eyes on their personal devices. Why did the Internal IT turn their beloved smartphone into a spy that tracks their whereabouts? Employees are beginning to sense companies taking advantage of BYOD by intruding on personal time to get free work time.

If CIOs have hourly employees with BYOD smartphones, they might want to leverage MDM to control the company's email security and delivery rules to those devices; meaning, they can set a business rule that won't allow delivery of corporate email to a subset of users during off-hours. This rule should be also addressed in the BYOD terms-of-use agreement. This is just an example, and the tip of the iceberg.

John Timko, Marketing Director in LabTec Software explained that MDM software has thankfully advanced quickly and has come up with a fix. Now companies can control only corporate apps from a BYOD smartphone or tablet, leaving personal apps untouched. While this helps tremendously, it doesn't completely solve the problem.

Let's say a company buys the popular productivity app, Evernote, for employees to put on their BYOD smartphones. Since the company paid for the app, the company can remove it at any time regardless of the personal data the employee may have added such as a shopping list, recipes, vacation plans, or perhaps something more critical to their job.

In conclusion, companies need to have better protections against employee's lawsuits regarding the BYOD practice, a well developed terms-of-use agreement, and leverage MDM to ensure this agreement is followed. Truth is, employees tend to get a bit emotional when their privacy is being violated or their location is being tracked via a mobile device that they personally own. They don't like their personal data to be seen or wiped, either. When these things happen, companies can expect the wrath of a scorned employee.

More Stories By Monica Paul

Monica Paul is a marketer with 20 years experience in local, regional, and global marketing strategies. In 2001, after 8 years working as an employee for several IT companies such as Micrografx and Visio; Monica founded Marcomtec, marketing firm giving services initially to the IT industry that then diversified to other industries. In 2013 Monica launched, Magic MasterMinds (www.magicmasterminds.com), a marketing platform to help writers all over the world to market their books leveraging this way reading as a daily activity.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using the URL as a basic building block, we open this up and get the same resilience that the web enjoys.
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, discussed single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series data. By focusing on enterprise applications and the data center, he will use OpenTSDB as an example t...
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robin Raymond, Chief Architect at Hookflash, will walk through the shifting landscape of traditional telephone and voice services ...
The Domain Name Service (DNS) is one of the most important components in networking infrastructure, enabling users and services to access applications by translating URLs (names) into IP addresses (numbers). Because every icon and URL and all embedded content on a website requires a DNS lookup loading complex sites necessitates hundreds of DNS queries. In addition, as more internet-enabled ‘Things' get connected, people will rely on DNS to name and find their fridges, toasters and toilets. According to a recent IDG Research Services Survey this rate of traffic will only grow. What's driving t...
Enthusiasm for the Internet of Things has reached an all-time high. In 2013 alone, venture capitalists spent more than $1 billion dollars investing in the IoT space. With "smart" appliances and devices, IoT covers wearable smart devices, cloud services to hardware companies. Nest, a Google company, detects temperatures inside homes and automatically adjusts it by tracking its user's habit. These technologies are quickly developing and with it come challenges such as bridging infrastructure gaps, abiding by privacy concerns and making the concept a reality. These challenges can't be addressed w...
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems at Red Hat, described how to revolutioniz...
Bit6 today issued a challenge to the technology community implementing Web Real Time Communication (WebRTC). To leap beyond WebRTC’s significant limitations and fully leverage its underlying value to accelerate innovation, application developers need to consider the entire communications ecosystem.
The definition of IoT is not new, in fact it’s been around for over a decade. What has changed is the public's awareness that the technology we use on a daily basis has caught up on the vision of an always on, always connected world. If you look into the details of what comprises the IoT, you’ll see that it includes everything from cloud computing, Big Data analytics, “Things,” Web communication, applications, network, storage, etc. It is essentially including everything connected online from hardware to software, or as we like to say, it’s an Internet of many different things. The difference ...
Cloud Expo 2014 TV commercials will feature @ThingsExpo, which was launched in June, 2014 at New York City's Javits Center as the largest 'Internet of Things' event in the world.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, phone and digital TV services to consumers primarily in rural areas.
"There is a natural synchronization between the business models, the IoT is there to support ,” explained Brendan O'Brien, Co-founder and Chief Architect of Aria Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 15th International Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com), moderated by Ashar Baig, Research Director, Cloud, at Gigaom Research, Nate Gordon, Director of T...

ARMONK, N.Y., Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --  IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is bringing a greater level of control, security and flexibility to cloud-based application development and delivery with a single-tenant version of Bluemix, IBM's platform-as-a-service. The new platform enables developers to build ap...

An entirely new security model is needed for the Internet of Things, or is it? Can we save some old and tested controls for this new and different environment? In his session at @ThingsExpo, New York's at the Javits Center, Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, reviewed hands-on lessons with IoT devices and reveal a new risk balance you might not expect. Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, has more than nineteen years' experience managing global security operations and assessments, including a decade of leading incident response and digital forensics. He is co-author of t...
Technology is enabling a new approach to collecting and using data. This approach, commonly referred to as the "Internet of Things" (IoT), enables businesses to use real-time data from all sorts of things including machines, devices and sensors to make better decisions, improve customer service, and lower the risk in the creation of new revenue opportunities. In his General Session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Dave Wagstaff, Vice President and Chief Architect at BSQUARE Corporation, discuss the real benefits to focus on, how to understand the requirements of a successful solution, the flow of ...
The security devil is always in the details of the attack: the ones you've endured, the ones you prepare yourself to fend off, and the ones that, you fear, will catch you completely unaware and defenseless. The Internet of Things (IoT) is nothing if not an endless proliferation of details. It's the vision of a world in which continuous Internet connectivity and addressability is embedded into a growing range of human artifacts, into the natural world, and even into our smartphones, appliances, and physical persons. In the IoT vision, every new "thing" - sensor, actuator, data source, data con...
"BSQUARE is in the business of selling software solutions for smart connected devices. It's obvious that IoT has moved from being a technology to being a fundamental part of business, and in the last 18 months people have said let's figure out how to do it and let's put some focus on it, " explained Dave Wagstaff, VP & Chief Architect, at BSQUARE Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Focused on this fast-growing market’s needs, Vitesse Semiconductor Corporation (Nasdaq: VTSS), a leading provider of IC solutions to advance "Ethernet Everywhere" in Carrier, Enterprise and Internet of Things (IoT) networks, introduced its IStaX™ software (VSC6815SDK), a robust protocol stack to simplify deployment and management of Industrial-IoT network applications such as Industrial Ethernet switching, surveillance, video distribution, LCD signage, intelligent sensors, and metering equipment. Leveraging technologies proven in the Carrier and Enterprise markets, IStaX is designed to work ac...
C-Labs LLC, a leading provider of remote and mobile access for the Internet of Things (IoT), announced the appointment of John Traynor to the position of chief operating officer. Previously a strategic advisor to the firm, Mr. Traynor will now oversee sales, marketing, finance, and operations. Mr. Traynor is based out of the C-Labs office in Redmond, Washington. He reports to Chris Muench, Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Traynor brings valuable business leadership and technology industry expertise to C-Labs. With over 30 years' experience in the high-tech sector, John Traynor has held numerous...
The 3rd International @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades.