Protect your company from BYOD security threats

With users wanting to connect their personally owned computers to corporate infrastructure, IT admins have to find the right balance between providing services, and securing access. BYOD can present significant risks to companies’ IT infrastructures, as these devices can connect to services and data but aren’t controlled by the company. If you are an admin dealing with BYOD, look at a cloud based patch management service to help secure BYOD computers.

Most admins think that devices they don’t issue are beyond their control. That’s not entirely accurate. With the right patch management software service, BYOD computers can be secured just like corporate owned devices are. The largest risks presented by BYOD come from devices that aren’t up-to-date and aren’t running antivirus software. With automated patch management combined with antivirus software, you can protect against both these threat categories, providing safe and secure access to corporate resources for users on their own gear.

There are several other protections that should be a part of any strategy for securing BYOD concerns. The first is Mobile Device Management (MDM). MDM enables admins to provide protections and controls for personally owned devices, including remote wipe, encryption, password lock and antivirus software.

You should also have a way to quickly identify unpatched software on BYOD computers, so that you can bring them into the fold. Such devices can quickly and easily be covered by patch management policies, enabling admins to quickly identify unpatched computers and ensure these devices are secured before they present a threat to the network.

Because so many new PCs come with trialware antivirus software, make sure the system you select can handle removing the other products’ expired versions so that there are no conflicts, and to ensure your users don’t think they are protected when they are not.

And never underestimate how large a risk removable media is. Whether BYOD refers to the hardware platform your users run applications upon, or just that funny Angry Birds USB key they use to share data, making sure that all removable media is scanned with Antivirus is a great way to protect against infections from other systems beyond your control.

BYOD doesn’t have to be dangerous. Combining patch management with antivirus protections will not only secure your users’ personal equipment, it will let them use that equipment in their jobs without risk to the company’s data or infrastructure. BYOD can make everyone happy and save the company money, as long as you approach it cautiously and securely.

Casper Manes provided this post on behalf of GFI Cloud

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