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Is a weak BYOD strategy better than none at all?

Mike JohnsonGuest author: Mike Johnson, ‎Director UC Architectures & Solutions

Before hastily implementing a BYOD policy, companies need to assess the full scope of risks that come with using mobile devices for work, says a new report from a leading cybersecurity organization.

According to the Information Security Forum, businesses that push BYOD too quickly often neglect or ignore risk management, which can have disastrous consequences. However, current estimates show that somewhere between 60-80% of organizations don’t have BYOD policies in place today–so what should these organizations do?

rvlsoft/Shutterstock.com

rvlsoft/Shutterstock.com

The first option is to hold off on BYOD. But is this really an option? Organizations that follow this path would soon realize they are hampering their workforce productivity, so another option would be to simply allow for e-mail delivery through Active-Sync and to require a PIN and email wipe, at the bare minimum. Companies can then take their time to thoroughly assess the risks involved in a more robust BYOD policy, develop a comprehensive policy and make an informed decision about how best to track and possibly restrict company information on personal devices. This approach ensures that when the BYOD strategy is put in place, it most likely has accounted for all major risk factors.

The final alternative is to quickly create a BYOD policy and start tracking devices using more robust features, but still keeping it simple. This line of thinking sees that employees are already using mobile devices for work, so the IT department that currently operates without a BYOD plan needs to get one in place as soon as possible, even if it initially ignores a few security holes.

Perhaps we can have it both ways? Should organizations adopt BYOD quickly and then phase in more robust features/functions and security? Or is this hype, and effective BYOD strategies simply require time to develop?

Hype or Ripe
Is it better to have an incomplete BYOD policy than none at all?



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The constantly changing world of healthcare IT

It’s no secret that healthcare is rapidly changing in the United States, and healthcare IT is moving quickly to keep up. As healthcare continues to evolve, providers are quickly learning the significance of BYOD, mobile apps, archiving and DRaaS.

What’s changing now?

As mobile health is expected to expand to a $20 billion market, healthcare providers are stepping up their technology game. Last year, 78 percent of clinicians – primary care doctors, oncologists, cardiologists, psychiatrists, physicians assistants and nurse practitioners – used smartphones and 34 percent used tablets professionally. Those numbers are on the rise. This year, you can find 86 percent of doctors on their smart phones and 53 percent on tablets. Even more telling, nearly half of doctors are considered “omnivores,” meaning they use three types of devices – smartphones, tablets and PCs.

Ra2studio/Shutterstock

Ra2studio/Shutterstock

What’s the next step?

Healthcare providers are looking to provide the access that patients are requesting. Right now, 43 percent of patients can access their medical records online, but more than 80 percent would like access. To meet patient requests, the patient portal market is predicted to reach $900 million over the next three years.

What obstacles must healthcare IT overcome?

More than 33 percent of hospitals don’t have a disaster recovery plan in place. The needs of patients require real time, available access to healthcare systems at any given time – including when disaster, natural or otherwise, strikes. As healthcare IT continues to move forward, disaster recovery must become a priority.

Is healthcare IT moving quickly enough to keep up with the changes in healthcare?

How to COPE with BYOD in 2014

Tech experts predict BYOD will take a new turn in 2014, and it might be the answer for companies hesitant to adopt the practice. Company owned, personally enabled (COPE) devices are a hybrid of sorts; COPE takes an approach that incorporates the benefits of BYOD and traditional company-owned devices.

The pros of COPE

With 60% of IT and security specialists displeased with BYOD, COPE might be the middle ground that many companies need. As BYOD gains popularity, some IT departments are becoming increasingly nervous about the security of their data. Some companies are finding that COPE gives employees the same access to reliable devices that they would have with BYOD, but can provide reassurance to employers with security concerns.

As with BYOD, employees have the ability to use one device for both professional and personal purposes (within reason), but COPE allows the employer to regain control. Because the company owns the device, if an employee leaves the company, there is no fear of restricted data on his or her device being compromised.

Shutterstock/Slavoljub Pantelic 1

Shutterstock/Slavoljub Pantelic 1

The cons of COPE

Because COPE devices are company owned, there is an added monetary cost, particularly if the company has been using a BYOD model.

Perhaps the biggest downside of COPE is the resulting blurred lines surrounding employee privacy. Because the devices are granted with the understanding that they can be used personally, companies may end up with access to employees’ personal email, social media accounts, online banking information and more.

Hype or Ripe
Will COPE replace BYOD in 2014?



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A draft email to avoid lost BYOD devices this holiday season

Mike JohnsonFrom Mike Johnson, Director of Unified Communications

Get this: 67% of mobile devices lost in malls in 2011 were lost between Thanksgiving and Christmas. How many of these were BYOD-enabled devices, with work emails and passwords on them? The data doesn’t say, and we’re not sure we want to know.

Shane White/Shutterstock.com

Shane White/Shutterstock.com

In total, nearly 12,000 mobile devices were lost in the country’s 44 largest shopping malls in just over 30 days. 40% of them were left behind in food courts. Remember, this is just malls, and doesn’t include airports, restaurants or public transportation, which would undoubtedly inflate this number. With this in mind, now might be a good time to remind your employees to keep a close eye on their phones and tablets during the busy holiday season. We’ve saved you the trouble of writing another email, and drafted one for you. Feel free to edit as you like.

Team,

Happy holidays! I wanted to take a minute to remind you that the year’s busiest shopping and traveling season is also the most likely time for you to lose your phone or tablet. Research shows that more mobile devices are lost between Thanksgiving and New Year’s than any other time of year, when over $11 million worth of phones are lost. And, of the 12,000+ devices lost in malls this time of year, 40% of those are left behind at a food court. Keep your personal and work data safe by keeping an eye on your phone this month!

Happy holidays!

Is a weak BYOD strategy better than none at all?

Mike JohnsonGuest author: Mike Johnson, ‎Director UC Architectures & Solutions

Before hastily implementing a BYOD policy, companies need to assess the full scope of risks that come with using mobile devices for work, says a new report from a leading cybersecurity organization.

According to the Information Security Forum, businesses that push BYOD too quickly often neglect or ignore risk management, which can have disastrous consequences. However, current estimates show that somewhere between 60-80% of organizations don’t have BYOD policies in place today–so what should these organizations do?

rvlsoft/Shutterstock.com

rvlsoft/Shutterstock.com

The first option is to hold off on BYOD. But is this really an option? Organizations that follow this path would soon realize they are hampering their workforce productivity, so another option would be to simply allow for e-mail delivery through Active-Sync and to require a PIN and email wipe, at the bare minimum. Companies can then take their time to thoroughly assess the risks involved in a more robust BYOD policy, develop a comprehensive policy and make an informed decision about how best to track and possibly restrict company information on personal devices. This approach ensures that when the BYOD strategy is put in place, it most likely has accounted for all major risk factors.

The final alternative is to quickly create a BYOD policy and start tracking devices using more robust features, but still keeping it simple. This line of thinking sees that employees are already using mobile devices for work, so the IT department that currently operates without a BYOD plan needs to get one in place as soon as possible, even if it initially ignores a few security holes.

Perhaps we can have it both ways? Should organizations adopt BYOD quickly and then phase in more robust features/functions and security? Or is this hype, and effective BYOD strategies simply require time to develop?

Hype or Ripe
Is it better to have an incomplete BYOD policy than none at all?



View Results

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