Guest Column | August 24, 2015

Help Your Clients Remove The Dangers Of BYOD

By Geraldine Osman, VP International Marketing, Connected Data

The Dangers Of BYOD

Today, our working lives have become virtually 24/7 (of course, there are a few hours left for sleep, sometimes). People working away from the traditional office have become the new normal. To stay connected, employees use mobile devices for con calls, email and other business activity — even while on “vacation.” In fact, by 2017 Gartner predicts 50 percent of employees will have mobile devices for work purposes. So it’s not surprising then, that Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is on the rise in the enterprise. Some organizations are even actively encouraging workers to bring their own devices into the corporate world. That’s because BYOD can be a positive for organizations. When users bring their own device, it enables them to work anywhere and anytime, opening up new levels of communication, productivity and efficiency —plus the company saves on the cost of buying these devices for their employees.

This growing mobile workforce, however, also presents increasing challenges for your clients. With the advantages comes an often-ignored list of risks to company data. Whether it is saving to desktops, emailing, or using the public cloud, you as VARs, managed services providers (MSPs) and other trusted advisors would be wise to help your clients assess and address the following risks:

  • Data security. If users need a file away from the server, for ease they may save it to the desktop of their own laptop. This may mean they can work from home, but it also means company data has left the building and if the laptop is lost or stolen, the data is too.
  • Data control. To facilitate mobile working, users may also decide to email themselves a file they want so they can work on it from their device. Again, the moment that file is emailed, that data is out of IT’s control. As with saving files onto an employer’s laptop, there is also no version control. The file on the server will now no longer be the most up-to-date and accurate.
  • Threat from public cloud. If the file is too big to email, employees may simply send a link to company data they have saved to the public cloud. When your clients’ employees use public cloud file, sync, and share (FSS) providers like Box and Dropbox, IT administrators have no way to know where the company’s data is stored. And, because the data is uploaded to the cloud, it’s impossible to know whether or not it’s being protected in the right way for your clients’ business. Not only does this eliminate your clients’ visibility as to where the data is stored or who has access, but for companies bound by compliance laws such as financial organizations, healthcare services, legal departments, or educational institutions, there could be serious consequences — including heavy fines.

The simple fact is that employees will find the easiest way to work, even if it doesn’t necessarily keep their business organization’s data safe. Without a rigorous FSS plan, business organizations are losing control of their data. For solutions providers that serve the mid-to-enterprise class space, you also need to be able to provide a solution that enables your clients to enhance and transform their existing on-premises network-attached storage (NAS) systems into secure, private cloud file sharing solutions (your clients aren’t getting rid of their storage infrastructure anytime soon, nor do you want them to).  When you can do this, you not only position your clients for success today and into the future, but yourself as well.

For information on Connected Data’s solution that delivers file sync and share capabilities with management control, data security, and competitive pricing, visit http://www.connecteddata.com/