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The Flaws and Costs of Mobile Security Policies and How to Instantly Fix Them

By

Inbal Meshulam

| July 13, 2023
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The era of hybrid and remote work environments has given Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) many sleepless nights as they struggle to ensure optimal protection for their corporate networks. With the frequency of cyber attacks targeting mobile devices and remote workers continuing to rise, implementing a comprehensive mobile security policy is essential to safeguard an organization’s work environment.

While there has been a rapid increase in the popularity of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies over the past number of years, its inherent security flaws has seen organizations embrace other models in search of a better solution, such as

Choose Your Own Device (CYOD), Corporate-Owned, Personally Enabled (COPE) and Corporate-Owned, Business-Only (COBO). The truth is, however, that all of these policies leave networks and their data vulnerable.

However, there is another option available. Organizations can quickly and cost effectively implement a zero-trust data mobile access solution that enables productive collaboration while dramatically minimizing the risk of data breaches. This is achieved by turning any mobile device, managed or unmanaged, into a virtual extension of an organization’s network, with all its compliance, security, and IT.

So, let’s first look at the pros, cons and costs associated with traditional solutions, and then outline how organizations can implement a truly zero-trust mobile security environment that will immediately optimize data security using a minimum resources approach.

 

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

BYOD policies allow employees to use their personal mobiles, reducing the financial burden on companies, as employees bear the cost of purchasing and maintaining their devices. It promotes flexibility and mobility, enabling employees to work from anywhere, at any time. However, implementing BYOD requires proper security measures to protect company data, ensuring strong device management and encryption protocols are in place.

Pros:

  • Enables employees to work from anywhere, at any time.
  • Reduces need to purchase and maintain devices for employees.

Cons:

  • Increases security concerns, as personal devices may be vulnerable to data breaches or malware attacks.
  • Different devices and operating systems may pose challenges in terms of integration with existing IT infrastructure.
  • IT departments may face additional workload in terms of software updates, and troubleshooting.
  • Balancing employee privacy with the company’s need to protect sensitive data can be challenging.
  • Companies may have limited control over employee devices, making it harder to enforce policies and ensure compliance.

Costs:

  • Investment in security solutions, such as mobile device management (MDM) software, encryption, and remote wiping capabilities.
  • Additional resources may be required to provide technical support and address device-related issues.
  • Expenses may arise from ensuring compatibility with existing systems and software.
  • Companies must consider the costs associated with meeting legal and regulatory requirements related to data protection and privacy.

 

Choose Your Own Device (CYOD)

CYOD allows employees to select their devices from a list of approved options from their employer.

Pros:

  • Ensures that only approved and secure devices are used for work, reducing the risk of data breaches and malware attacks.
  • Limiting selection of devices ensures better compatibility and seamless integration with existing IT infrastructure and software.
  • Technical support is more streamlined and efficient.

Cons:

  • Companies need to invest in purchasing and maintaining a range of devices.
  • Introducing new devices may require additional training and support.
  • Upgrades and replacements will increase costs over time.

Costs:

  • Purchasing and maintaining devices.
  • Allocating resources for training employees on the selected devices.
  • Expenses may arise from ensuring compatibility with existing systems and software.
  • Device upgrades and replacements.

 

Corporate-Owned, Personally Enabled (COPE)

COPE provides employees with company-owned devices that can also be used for personal purposes.

Pros:

  • Greater control over device security measures, ensuring compliance with data protection and privacy regulations.
    Better compatibility and integration with existing IT infrastructure and software.
    Software updates, and technical support is more streamlined and efficient.

Cons:

  • Reduced device choice for employees, limiting personal preferences and flexibility.
  • Purchasing and maintaining company-owned devices.
  • Employees reservations about using company-owned devices for personal use.
  • Training and learning curve.
  • Employees may prefer using their personal devices.

Costs:

  • Purchasing devices.
  • Device management and technical support.
  • Training and onboarding.
  • Upgrades and replacements.

 

Corporate-Owned, Business-Only (COBO)

Corporate-Owned, Business-Only (COBO) is where companies provide employees with company-owned devices strictly for work-related purposes.

Pros:

  • Can enforce strict policies to protect sensitive data and ensure compliance with regulations.
  • Consistent hardware and software configurations across devices.
  • Minimizes the risk of data breaches, malware infections, and unauthorized access.
  • IT departments have centralized control over devices, making troubleshooting, and support more efficient.
  • Optimized for work-related tasks, promoting focused and efficient work.

Cons:

  • Concerns about privacy and potential monitoring by the employer.
  • Employees heavily rely on IT support for device-related issues, increasing workload for the IT department.
  • Employees may resist using COBO devices, preferring to use their personal devices instead.

Costs:

  • Device procurement.
  • Device management.
  • Training and onboarding.
  • Upgrades and replacements.

 

How to Solve these Security Flaws and Eliminate Associated Costs

The traditional solutions to mobile device access, detailed above, are far from ideal. Each has its flaws and ultimately leaves organizations vulnerable to security breaches to greater or lesser degrees. Each one also has associated costs and requires oversight. Organizations today, however, can quickly benefit from a solution created by Symmetrium that not only offers vastly superior levels of security, but also requires minimum resources.

The zero-trust environment needed to keep data private and protected is achieved by deploying Symmetium’s virtual mobile device (VMD) solution. When these virtual devices, which reside within the organization’s network, are remotely accessed by employees using their mobile phone or laptop, they act as extensions of all organizational security and compliance policies using end-to-end encrypted streaming. The result is a completely native mobile experience with seamless deployment and management.

Corporate data is accessed virtually and therefore at no time sits on the user’s actual device. The result is that data remains secure and is never put at risk.

Maintaining Full Control Over Mobile Data Access

Organizations using Symmetrium are able to maintain full control over the data accessed by employees through their mobile devices, safeguarding it from potential risks. This allows for the efficient management of multiple devices, regardless of their brand or operating systems, with minimal resource allocation, thanks to a centralized management console.

The integration seamlessly aligns with existing security and GRC (Governance, Risk, and Compliance) protocols through a unified application. As a result, organizations gain confidence in the security and protection of their data, irrespective of the device used for access.

Symmetrium instantly deliveries the following benefits:

  • Seamlessly maintains and enforces strict network policies to protect sensitive data and ensure compliance with regulations.
  • Works with all hardware and software configurations across devices.
  • Eliminates the risk of data breaches, malware infections, and unauthorized access.
  • Requires minimal resource allocation.
  • IT departments have centralized management via console.
  • Allows employees to use their own devices without compromising their experience and privacy.
  • Highly cost effective as it requires no investment in purchasing, maintaining or upgrading devices.

By using Symmetrium’s streamlined approach organizations can confidently ensure data remains secure at all times, reinforcing data governance and mitigating potential vulnerabilities.

Discover how easy it is to optimize your network security by booking a demo with Symmetrium here.

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