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Managing IT over IoT and BYOD

Bring Your Own Device

The current and forthcoming generations are particularly tech-savvy. BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) a.k.a. work force mobility, which started out in the enterprise industry has now rapidly spread to education, healthcare, and other industries as well.

But although BYOD allows greater flexibility, increases productivity, cost cutting by companies to improve ROI, it has causes of concern over data security too. According to Forrester,

  • Over 70% of mobile professionals will conduct their work on personal smart devices by 2018
  • 53% of information users use their own personal devices for work, install unsupported software

According to the Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s Cyber Risk 2016 report which focused on multiple technologies like mobiles, states that over 80% of open source and commercial applications suffer security feature vulnerabilities, with serious implications for management of private database.

Mobile applications that suffer from internal system information leaks highlight the concern for storing business critical data on easily lost devices. Mobile phones and tablets require regular patch updates and most often the responsibility of these falls into the employee’s hands.

According to SANS Institute Research Survey, more than 50% of organizations rely on their users to protect personally owned devices. This makes these devices more prone to security risks and susceptible to attacks.

Regarding BYOD security, if organizations are too lenient, they risk losing data due to loss of device from the employee or when once an employee leaves the company. But if they go as far to ban BYOD, then they risk the occurrence of diminishing workplace efficiency. From the employee’s perspective, many companies lack a formal BYOD policy that does not address the protection of their personal data. And some of the companies that do, end up infringing on employee privacy.

Encrypting devices and ensuring that the employees update their device operating systems as well as apps installed on it, would minimize the extent of being targeted by hackers.

Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) is essentially a system of machines or objects with data-collecting technologies that lets us interact with them on a daily basis over the Internet.

  • According to Research firm IDC, the number of devices connected to the Internet will reach 30 billion in 2020, up from an estimated 13 billion this year
  • A whopping 94% of all businesses have seen a return on their IoT investments
  • According to VisionMobile’s IoT Megatrends 2016 report, 4.5 million developers are working on IoT applications for – smart home, retail, industrial, wearables, smart city, medical and connected cars

According to Sam Lucero, senior principal analyst, M2M and Internet of Things, at IHS Electronics & Media in Tempe, Ariz, a consequence of the IoT for the enterprise data center is a large volume of incoming data that requires significant infrastructure upgrades, particularly for data analysis, processing and storage. And with that comes also the issues of managing the data storage, security and privacy.

  • According to 2016 Global State of Information Security, only 36% have a security strategy for IoT currently
  • According to BI Intelligence’s 2015 IoT Security report, traditional Information Technology security practices like network monitoring and segmentation will become even more critical as businesses and governments deploy IoT devices

Managing IT when IoT and BYOD are rapidly growing

According to SpiceWorks 2016 State of IT report on IT budgets and tech trends:

  • IT pros don’t expect their IT staff to increase in 2016, which means they’ll need to keep doing more, with less
  • Almost 60% believe their organization is not adequately investing in IT security
  • About 3/4th of surveyed IT pros consider their organizations at risk for technology, IT security, and man-made disasters or incidents
  • More than 3/4th of survey respondents currently use server virtualization. But only a third are using advanced solutions despite increased security attacks

Many companies who have limited in-house IT capabilities, view an MSP’s offering as a way to obtain IT expertise. Because MSPs take a proactive approach apart from having Backup and DR services, they are able to prevent IT problems from occurring and disrupting business operations. Outsourcing can increase productivity and competitiveness 10 to 100 fold (Source:Economist.com)

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