What’s Wrong With Bringing Your Own?

If I am dining out at a posh restaurant, I know that they will not take kindly to my bringing in food and beverages to consume at their tables – they expect (nay demand) that I purchase my meal and drinks from them. However, is it any different when it comes to my computer habits and usage?

Acronyms

The whole world loves acronyms; perhaps none more so than the switched on, interconnected world of computers and the internet. Two acronyms getting a certain amount of attention these days are:-

1. BYOD which stands for “Bring Your Own Device”
2. BYOA which stands for “Bring Your Own Application”

When computers were largely big machines and even when they shrank to desktop size, their owners had a high degree of control over the uses to which their computers were put.

Small And Mobile

But, computers got smaller and smaller and began to be placed inside devices originally intended for another use – such as the so called “smart phone”. With a smart phone in their pocket, the potential exists for anyone to bring such a device into your premises and use it to access your computer network. Even staff authorized to use mobile devices for their work can be outside of your control when they take their company issued device home or away on a business trip.

It’s Not Only What They Do On Their device

It’s also what they put into it. Many specialized “aps” (applications – i.e. programs) can be easily downloaded and installed into any sort of internet ready device. The company IT manager can attempt to control what gets downloaded directly into the company computers but has a lot less control over what a salesman does with his company laptop when staying overnight in a hotel.

Any “aps” that get into a device that is then operating back at your premises can “escape” into your wireless computer network. Not only should you monitor the devices coming in but you should also have a BYOA Security policy in place to prevent rogue applications contaminating the company network.

Only a few “aps” are likely to give serious problems for the security of your files but many could contain viruses or other hidden aspects that might slow down your legitimate computer use. Maybe you won’t want to stop all brought in “aps” but you should, at least, have a BYOA security system that keeps you informed on any new “aps” entering your network operations.

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