Take Advantage of BYOD Without Sacrificing Security

If your company hasn’t yet embraced BYOD (bring your own device), there’s a good chance it will soon. Gartner has predicted that 90 percent of all companies will support BYOD by 2014, and recently projected that half of all companies may actually require users to participate in BYOD plans by 2017.

BYOD offers a variety of benefits for both the employee and the employer. The employee gets to use the platforms and devices she is most comfortable with and has consistency between work and home. The employer reduces its burden to purchase or maintain the equipment. Surveys show that employees work an average of 240 more hours per year under BYOD.

BYOD also introduces some concerns. Companies have to determine how to give employees access to the applications and data they need on their mobile devices, while also protecting and securing sensitive data.

Challenges of BYOD

Software used by the company—whether it’s custom applications, software specific to a given industry, or just Microsoft Office—can be installed and used on employee-owned laptop PCs, but it will require purchasing additional licenses in many cases. When it comes to tablets and smartphones, though, users are forced to find suitable alternatives that offer varying degrees of compatibility and synchronization.In order for employees to be productive using their own laptops, tablets, and smartphones, they need the right tools and the ability to access data. However, most of the software users rely on to get work done doesn’t have a mobile app equivalent, and accessing data while on the go can be complicated.

For data accessibility, there are plenty of cloud data storage and file-sharing solutions, but storing data in the cloud comes with its own concerns and doesn’t fully address the problem. If sensitive data is stored online with a third-party, there is increased risk of exposure or compromise.

From the user’s perspective, cloud data storage can be useful, but it won’t help if the crucial file he needs is stored on his desktop PC and hasn’t been uploaded to the cloud. Cloud data storage requires proactive effort to make sure that all files the user may need access to have been synced or uploaded to the cloud.

BYOD also makes the task of protecting data more difficult. Companies are already faced with the challenge of managing and protecting data on mobile devices. Compliance mandates such as SOX (Sarbanes-Oxley), HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accessibility Act) and PCI-DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) impose restrictions on accessing sensitive data and requirements for how that data is secured. Addressing that problem is even tougher when the data is being accessed from or stored on a device that the company doesn’t own.

If a BYOD device is lost or stolen, the data that it contains could be at risk of exposure or compromise, and the company needs to be able to take the necessary steps to protect it. Typically, that involves remotely wiping all content from the device, but an employee’s personal tablet or smartphone also has photos, videos, contact information, calendar events, and other information that will be permanently erased as well.

BYOD and PocketCloud

PocketCloud Remote Desktop lets users connect to their desktop PC from a mobile device. Users can use the software on their desktop PC, including applications like Excel, PowerPoint, Photoshop, and proprietary or custom tools. PocketCloud Remote Desktop enables users to work with the software they’re used to and be productive from virtually anywhere on an Android or iOS device.Wyse PocketCloud from Dell lets you take advantage of BYOD without sacrificing security. PocketCloud solves the problem of having the right tools to be productive on the go, as well as the issue of accessing data from mobile devices, and addresses data protection concerns at the same time.

PocketCloud Explore solves the problem of accessing data on the go. Users can search for and access files on their Windows or Mac PCs from any Android, iOS, or Windows RT device. They can open files remotely in the app viewer so the data doesn’t need to be downloaded and stored on the mobile devices, and they can share files directly from the PC rather than sending large email file attachments.

Accessing software and data remotely using PocketCloud tools lets users take advantage of BYOD and get work done using their mobile devices without requiring additional software licenses, or exposing the data to additional risk by storing it on the mobile device. For additional peace of mind, though, the Dell Wyse PocketCloud tools also provide encryption and security controls to make sure the data is safe and protected.

Take advantage of BYOD

BYOD has become a mainstream phenomenon, and it offers a number of benefits and advantages. It’s important for employers and employees to recognize the limitations of BYOD, and its inherent risks as well, though.

Wyse PocketCloud tools from Dell give the user access to the applications and data they need from their mobile devices without adding unnecessary risk, or sacrificing the security of the data.

[ This sponsored article was written by IDG Creative Lab, a partner of PCWorld. ]

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