Bring-your-own-device (BYOD) workplace culture is about as scary for IT teams as it is exciting for end users.
It’s hard for users to think of reasons why they wouldn’t want to use their new smartphones to send and share work files. Beautifully designed mobile apps make file sharing quick and easy.
But for an IT department, BYOD security often seems like a nightmare that’s only getting worse. If estimates from a Gartner survey hold true, by the end of next year 38 percent of companies expect to stop supplying devices to workers. That figure is expected to jump to 50 percent by 2017.
“Unsurprisingly, security is the top concern for BYOD,” Gartner reports. “The risk of data leakage on mobile platforms is particularly acute.”
Part of this risk arises because IT departments have no control over which apps users install on their personal devices. These apps could be programmed to collect data off the device without the user’s knowledge.
Furthermore, many apps have interoperability features that allow data to be freely exchanged between them. For example, someone could use a tablet to copy an Excel file to Google Drive or Dropbox. This creates a big opportunity for data loss because the IT department doesn’t have control over these apps.
Control Content (Not The Device)
So, how do IT teams keep end users from moving sensitive documents between apps on their mobile devices? The key is to control the data, rather than the device it’s on.
Trying to control your end user’s device means controlling their choices (i.e., their apps) and privacy (i.e., their camera and their messages). That defeats the purpose of BYOD, which is only successful if you protect an end user’s privacy and ability to do office work seamlessly.
But without any access rights control over your data, it’s out in the open, and that’s not what you want.
Reconciling Security & Accessibility
In an era where costly data breaches are becoming more common, IT departments must use enterprise digital rights management and multidimensional access rights controls to keep enterprise files secure.
However, recognize that by making file access rights too strict, you’ll frustrate end users by slowing them down. If this happens too frequently, end users starts looking for ways to undermine the security protocols to do their work.
To ensure a seamless user experience while maintaining BYOD security, it’s important to only have the strongest security policies on the most sensitive files. That’s why you need a digital rights management solution with granular access rights controls.
Look for a mobile file security solution with an easy-to-use interface that your end users won’t reject. If you provide a secure enterprise file sharing solution that’s just as pleasant to use as consumer-grade apps, your end users have little reason not to use it.