Thinking about incorporating a Bring Your Own Device strategy into your small office? It is a good idea – BYOD can improve worker performance by allowing employees to use the devices they're accustomed to and grant them flexibility when working remotely. But there are a few caveats to be aware of so that when you do introduce the BYOD option there are no hitches.
Mobile security is a growing need and it only becomes more pressing when implementing BYOD. You must have a secure network in place that can accommodate the influx of new devices. There must also be an enterprise in place that the employee devices can easily interface with.
USB ports open to cyber threat
Security researchers Brandon Wilson and Adam Caudill found that USB coding can be easily altered, highlighting the damage a hijacked flash drive can do to a small business, according to Threat Post. Essentially, a malicious actor could adjust the USB to do anything he or she wanted unbeknownst to the victim. For PCs and other devices that communicate via USB, the finding is an alarming one.
The issue is not one of USB vulnerabilities – it is a systematic problem in the way a USB drive is programmed.
"We're just taking advantage of the USB protocol," Wilson told Threat Post. "This drive is a re-programmable computer that allows you to do all sorts of things. It allows you to be any device, and up until now, most developers had hard-coded them to behave in specific ways. The firmware on a flash drive makes it behave like a flash drive."
Wilson and Caudill's research should be an early warning for businesses looking to adopt BYOD. Those companies should make sure that USB ports are sealed when not in use, that flash drives are carefully monitored and that devices are tamper-proof.
Integrate any device into the existing network
Both the office and the devices must be capable of interfacing from the get go – which means the office IT team will have some work to do. But the benefit is that employees will be able to access printers and other services, along with shared folders and documents without switching devices, explained IT Pro Portal. Small businesses should also be forward-thinking, as new devices come out regularly that some of your employees will likely seek to add to the BYOD portfolio.
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