Welcome!

Security Authors: Torben Andersen, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, David Williamson

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
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...
The BPM world is going through some evolution or changes where traditional business process management solutions really have nowhere to go in terms of development of the road map. In this demo at 15th Cloud Expo, Kyle Hansen, Director of Professional Services at AgilePoint, shows AgilePoint’s unique approach to dealing with this market circumstance by developing a rapid application composition or development framework.
The Internet of Things is not new. Historically, smart businesses have used its basic concept of leveraging data to drive better decision making and have capitalized on those insights to realize additional revenue opportunities. So, what has changed to make the Internet of Things one of the hottest topics in tech? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Gray, Director, Embedded and Internet of Things, discussed the underlying factors that are driving the economics of intelligent systems. Discover how hardware commoditization, the ubiquitous nature of connectivity, and the emergence of Big Data a...
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.
“In the past year we've seen a lot of stabilization of WebRTC. You can now use it in production with a far greater degree of certainty. A lot of the real developments in the past year have been in things like the data channel, which will enable a whole new type of application," explained Peter Dunkley, Technical Director at Acision, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that IDenticard will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. IDenticard™ is the security division of Brady Corp (NYSE: BRC), a $1.5 billion manufacturer of identification products. We have small-company values with the strength and stability of a major corporation. IDenticard offers local sales, support and service to our customers across the United States and Canada. Our partner network encompasses some 300 of the world's leading systems integrators and security s...
"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.

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...

DevOps Summit 2015 New York, 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 widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential.
"People are a lot more knowledgeable about APIs now. There are two types of people who work with APIs - IT people who want to use APIs for something internal and the product managers who want to do something outside APIs for people to connect to them," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Nigeria has the largest economy in Africa, at more than US$500 billion, and ranks 23rd in the world. A recent re-evaluation of Nigeria's true economic size doubled the previous estimate, and brought it well ahead of South Africa, which is a member (unlike Nigeria) of the G20 club for political as well as economic reasons. Nigeria's economy can be said to be quite diverse from one point of view, but heavily dependent on oil and gas at the same time. Oil and natural gas account for about 15% of Nigera's overall economy, but traditionally represent more than 90% of the country's exports and as...
The Internet of Things is a misnomer. That implies that everything is on the Internet, and that simply should not be - especially for things that are blurring the line between medical devices that stimulate like a pacemaker and quantified self-sensors like a pedometer or pulse tracker. The mesh of things that we manage must be segmented into zones of trust for sensing data, transmitting data, receiving command and control administrative changes, and peer-to-peer mesh messaging. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ryan Bagnulo, Solution Architect / Software Engineer at SOA Software, focused on desi...
"At our booth we are showing how to provide trust in the Internet of Things. Trust is where everything starts to become secure and trustworthy. Now with the scaling of the Internet of Things it becomes an interesting question – I've heard numbers from 200 billion devices next year up to a trillion in the next 10 to 15 years," explained Johannes Lintzen, Vice President of Sales at Utimaco, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"For over 25 years we have been working with a lot of enterprise customers and we have seen how companies create applications. And now that we have moved to cloud computing, mobile, social and the Internet of Things, we see that the market needs a new way of creating applications," stated Jesse Shiah, CEO, President and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built to optimize Microsoft workloads, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Gridstore™ is the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built for Microsoft workloads and designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Gridstore’s hyper-converged infrastructure is the industry’s first all flash version of HyperConverged Appliances that include both compute and storag...
Today’s enterprise is being driven by disruptive competitive and human capital requirements to provide enterprise application access through not only desktops, but also mobile devices. To retrofit existing programs across all these devices using traditional programming methods is very costly and time consuming – often prohibitively so. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO, President, and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., discussed how you can create applications that run on all mobile devices as well as laptops and desktops using a visual drag-and-drop application – and eForms-buildi...
We certainly live in interesting technological times. And no more interesting than the current competing IoT standards for connectivity. Various standards bodies, approaches, and ecosystems are vying for mindshare and positioning for a competitive edge. It is clear that when the dust settles, we will have new protocols, evolved protocols, that will change the way we interact with devices and infrastructure. We will also have evolved web protocols, like HTTP/2, that will be changing the very core of our infrastructures. At the same time, we have old approaches made new again like micro-services...
Code Halos - aka "digital fingerprints" - are the key organizing principle to understand a) how dumb things become smart and b) how to monetize this dynamic. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robert Brown, AVP, Center for the Future of Work at Cognizant Technology Solutions, outlined research, analysis and recommendations from his recently published book on this phenomena on the way leading edge organizations like GE and Disney are unlocking the Internet of Things opportunity and what steps your organization should be taking to position itself for the next platform of digital competition.
The 3rd International Internet of @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 its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
As the Internet of Things unfolds, mobile and wearable devices are blurring the line between physical and digital, integrating ever more closely with our interests, our routines, our daily lives. Contextual computing and smart, sensor-equipped spaces bring the potential to walk through a world that recognizes us and responds accordingly. We become continuous transmitters and receivers of data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Bolwell, Director of Innovation for HP's Printing and Personal Systems Group, discussed how key attributes of mobile technology – touch input, sensors, social, and ...