The 2 Biggest BYOD Security Threats

A growing number of businesses are allowing employees to use their personal mobile devices to access the corporate network. This means they must put security measures in place to protect their networks from the two biggest threats.


Image by JD Hancock

As more businesses allow their employees to use their personal tablets and mobile devices in the workplace, security becomes greater concern. Industry experts agree that we will continue to see more tablets and mobile phones used on corporate networks, which raises questions such as, “How will this affect my security posture?”, “What kind of access should we allow?” and “How do we control it?”. Unfortunately, these questions are far from being resolved, but there are things you can do to help secure your network from the risks associated with Bring Your Own Device (BYOD).

Here are two BYOD security problem areas, along with measures you can take to secure your network:  

1) Wi-Fi and rogue devices that slow down the network  

The more rogue devices and interference from mobile hot spots, the slower and more cumbersome the network will be. Almost every organization has Wi-Fi in-house to allow for laptop connections where LAN is not accessible or to allow guests to connect to the Internet.

Many security vendors have solutions that can:

  • Mitigate wireless interference.
  • Delegate traffic into other frequencies to help alleviate Wi-Fi stress.
  • Allow for the creation of policies based on MAC address or browser profiles.

Through secure VPN tunnels, organizations can also control Wi-Fi and manage credentials, including limiting high-volume traffic over Wi-Fi such as YouTube.

2) Hot spots generated from mobile devices that use cellular Internet connections

This traffic is also subject to security threats such as malware, DoS attacks, intrusions and viruses. You must take steps to reduce these risks, such:

  • Disabling the SSID broadcast.
  • Disabling the DHCP server.
  • Setting the device user limit to 1 to avoid unauthorized connections.
  • Ensure that if these devices connect to the corporate network, they are protected by a firewall and anti-x installed on the host device.

As the requirement to support BYOB increases, we expect to see even more sophisticated Mobile Device Access Control (MDAC) solutions available. These solutions allow IT security to control the type of devices, services and bandwidth while enforcing security policies as they relate to browsing and applications. Some of these solutions include cellular hot-spot locators and remote disabling solutions, as the number of devices and the difficulty in pinpointing the location of rogue hot spots becomes more difficult.

What are your thoughts on BYOD and security? Feel free to share your comments below.

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