What Apple Celebrity Photo Hack Means For Enterprises
Not long ago Apple changed the dynamics of mobility and data security, thereby forcing the exit of BlackBerry from many company rolls. Breaking through the enterprise walls, Apple devices have been an essential part of many businesses that have embraced BYOD with abundant confidence. The recent alleged hacking of Apple iCloud, that exposed nude photographs of celebrities, has indirectly drawn attention to how secure mobility and BYOD strategies adopted by IT managers really are.
Though Apple’s case is specific to Cloud security, it can’t be denied that hackers are increasingly targeting user devices. With employees using their phones and tablets to access official mails and store personal data, there is a huge threat to security of corporate data.
A CIO would take adequate precautions before allowing a BYOD strategy to be implemented in the organization, but there still exist some chances of lapses. The Apple hack shows that the methods adopted by businesses to ensure device security are far from perfect. With BYOD emerging as a global work trend, employers are certain that they can’t stop the use of devices for both office and personal work.
Indian organizations have been quick to adopt BYOD as a part of their employee strategy despite knowing the enormity of privacy and security issues associated with it.
An effective BYOD policy is all about striking the right balance between security and convenience. While employees are given the freedom to work in their comfort zone, IT managers work hard to ensure some control over device and data.
There are several examples of how BYOD - a cost-effective measure - has enhanced employee productivity. According to a survey, employees tend to work extra hours because of the convenience provided by their device. Despite these benefits, organizations need to tread cautiously because of the challenges and risks associated with BYOD.
BYOD isn’t just about passwords and emails, but spans confidential data too. According to Ernst and Young, approximately 22% of the total number of mobile devices produced will be lost or stolen during their lifetime, and over 50% of them will never be recovered.
With the credibility of their business at stake, employers are compelled to find a plan for an effective and fool-proof BYOD policy that would support their organizational goals and keep employees happy. But there still is a huge gap between allowing the use of personal devices for business and a successful BYOD strategy. Moreover, it is a fact that a BYOD policy alone cannot ensure data security.
According to a Gartner study, many organizations still don’t have a formal BYOD policy in place. Security features like password protection and encryption are mandatory, but there are other aspects that need to be considered like employee flexibility, costs and reimbursement.
Businesses want to offer employees flexibility but this goes against their BYOD policy if it means a rise in operational costs. Devising a policy that is cost effective and doesn’t compromise on usability isn’t easy.
A California court recently ruled that employers must reimburse employees’ phone bills for work-related phone calls made on personal cell phones or face liability—potentially on a class-wide basis.
Though there are no such rules in India, organizations are struggling to put in place stringent mobile and data breach policies to ensure controlled access to data.
The rising malware and hacker attacks are proof that organizations can only reduce the risk of data loss but can’t really eliminate the risk.
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