There is no avoiding smartphones and tablets in the office, especially when you take into consideration that the average smartphone owner checks it 85 times per day . This is supported by research from IDC that found employee-owned devices will outstrip corporate ones 2-1 by 2018.
While this may save on equipment costs there is a flip side. In a review of corporate security threats in 2015, a PWC report found that 90% of large organisations had suffered from a security breach and 74% of small businesses had also fallen victim to security threats. In real terms this equates to a £1.46m - £3.14m bill for the average large organization and £75k - £311k bill for the average small business. Alarmingly, the human factor is a significant contributing factor. ¾ of large organisations suffered a staff-related breach and nearly 1/3 of small businesses. It is important to note that 15% of large organisations can trace the security breach directly back to a smartphone or tablet, a figure up 7% on the previous year that underlines a worrying trend.
There is no avoiding the BYOD trend and its implications to businesses. But how can businesses minimize the potential threats? Controlling the network via hardware and software infrastructure is part of the equation but the emphasis must be put on employees to stick to the best practices laid down in the organsations BYOD policy.
That said, there are several measures that business owners can take at a network level to underpin and support their policy. For example, develop a centralised platform to check how many devices are connected to the network and how much bandwidth they are using. Deploy straightforward security polices and a 2 step authentication using a radius server, both of these can be easily implemented via business-class access points. It is also important to properly monitor to see which devices are connecting or asking to connect to the network, what permissions the device has as well as its MAC address. Using captive portal and access control features that come as standard in TP-LINK business-class access points, organisations can provide guest networks for visitors or employees, smartphones and tablets which limits the risk of rogue devices connecting. It is also possible to put time restrictions on SSIDs effectively hiding them outside of business hours, therefore further minimizing the risk of unauthorized or malicious attacks.
Putting the right network infrastructure in place is critical for businesses big and small. Take advantage of the free TP-LINK network site survey which provides a comprehensive network audit to identify network weaknesses and provide practical solutions for today’s working practices and beyond. Contact your IT Index Account Manager today for your free site survey.