Allowing your employees to bring their own devices to work can lead to a number of security issues. Their devices may not be properly secured or encrypted, and many may already have viruses or malware on them. Employees also may not practice proper network safety techniques outside of the office, which could leave their devices open to data breaches and other dangers that could affect your data or your network. If you allow employees to bring their own devices to the office, here are four different security measures you need to implement to make certain your network remains protected.
1. Only Allow Network Access Through One Entry Point
Allowing employees to access the network through multiple entry points means you must protect those multiple points. This makes it much more difficult to keep your network secure. However, by making sure all traffic is routed through one central point, it’s possible to add additional security.
Network access through this single point allows you to use role-based access. Each employee is assigned a profile that is always connected to their login, so it doesn’t matter what device they are using. This profile only provides them access to specific information, folders, and services. This also allows you to restrict access to network resources when employees log in to the network from outside the office. This provides tighter network security as well as preventing data leakage.
You can also use this to track actions and items. You can trace each item that has been accessed or copied. This allows you to watch your copyrighted and secure data so you know when it was accessed and what account accessed or tried to access it.
2. Manage Devices
By using Mobile Device Management (MDM), you can control the end-user device. While allowing BYOD does mean employees are bringing in multiple devices, you can prevent software and other information from being installed on those devices or, at the very least, monitor and audit the devices. In addition to controlling information, you can also use MDM technology to effectively turn stolen or lost devices into useless items by remotely disabling them.
This technology has other uses, too. Since you can control what is installed on the various devices on your network, you can create profiles for the various types of users that include all of the software they will need. You can have profiles for office computers, laptops, tablets, and other devices or devices with a specific use. Then all you need to do is load that profile to the device and all of the required software is installed.
MDM technology also allows you to make certain your devices receive the latest in software patches and updates. This will help protect against viruses, malware, and other malicious programs.
3. Implement a Structured Network Segmentation Strategy
This type of strategy creates a tired level of defenses that include things such as your private intranet, a public network, and a limited access network that is much more secure from threats. By segmenting your network, employees who bring their own devices can still make sue of the internet via the public network, but they have very little access to anything on your system. Employees who bring their own devices will have to have them authorized if they want to access any company information from the intranet.
You can add additional security to your private network to make certain no one has broken through your protection. For example, adding an intrusion detection system like Snort will alert you if anyone accesses your network without authorization. You can watch in real-time as accounts try to access unauthorized data or receive reports if suspicious activity occurs at any time of the day or night.
4. Increase Authentication Levels
By using techniques such as Single Sign-On (SSO) and Identity and Access Management (IAM), you can improve the protection around your network. These methods allow you to enact security that makes use of identity mapping and access control to ensure that only the proper individuals gain access to any of your network resources and data. If you make use of enterprise level IAM solutions, you can even continually observe users and analyze the risk they bring to your system. By doing this in real-time, you can instantly remove access to users who are acting suspicious.
Using this type of network tool that may have thousands of people logged in at once. By limited their access to specific resources and watching the activity of those deemed high risk, you can often stop security breaches as they occur.
An SSO program will allow you to separate the device from the user. This means that it doesn’t matter what device the user is logging in from. They’re still forced through authentication that will prevent any unauthorized access. You can also make use of Security Assertion Markup Language on your websites. This language allows for the exchange of authentication data without actually placing the data on either web domain. The end result is that hackers won’t be able to retrieve a password even if one of the devices used is stolen and hacked into.
As more and more employees bring their own devices to the office, IT professionals must remain vigilant in how those devices are handled. Allowing anyone to access your network is going to end in disaster, but completely blocking your employee’s devices can lead to decreased efficiency. There is no easy solution, but you can create a more secure network that allows employees to BYOD while still keeping your network as secure as possible.
But BYOD is only the beginning of this security issue. More and more people are starting to use wearable technology such as fitness trackers, plus there’s the Internet of Things to contend with. As more and more devices want access to your network and its resources, network security must have a response ready. Using the four techniques mentioned here will help prepare your office for BYOD and what’s going to follow it.