Between work from home, return to office and everything that falls in-between, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies have never weighed so heavily on the security posture of a business.
IT and security teams have pulled the (un)lucky straw; securing access to countless cloud applications and protecting the data that resides in them, all on personal devices, is no easy feat.
BYOD Defined, Explained, and Explored
Here’s the good news: there are BYOD security best practices that can help mitigate the majority of these risks. At a high level, these include:
Reviewing the fundamentals
1. Communicate written BYOD security policies
2. Continuously provide security awareness training
3. Reinforce account and device safety
Turning security up a notch
4. Incorporate Zero Trust
5. Stamp out shadow IT
6. Implement strong data security controls
Enforcing like the experts
7. Prevent malware threats
8. Get visibility into and context of devices
9. Secure data everywhere it goes
Start by reviewing the fundamentals
1. Put your security policies into writing
Acceptable use policies are a given with corporate-owned devices and they should be with personal devices that access corporate resources too.
It’s likely most organizations already have formal BYOD policies in place but on the off chance you don’t, yours should include basic criteria such as what devices are allowed, their security requirements, control given to IT over them, and a general guideline for how personal devices should be used.
2. Enhance security awareness
Security awareness training is a standard BYOD security best practice that goes a long way toward mitigating risks like phishing, malware, and even physical security threats.
Implement regular security awareness training, primarily around preventing account compromise or data leaks. This includes social engineering like spear-phishing down to proper use of applications like ChatGPT.
3. Reinforce the basics
Encourage the use of multiple passwords, paying special attention to eliminating the use of a single password across both personal and corporate applications.
And just as important, educate users about the physical security risks of using personal devices for work. These include losing a device, leaving a laptop open and unlocked while others are in the room, or even making it easy for someone to see sensitive information over your shoulder or at a glance.
Turn Your Security Up a Notch
4. Incorporate Zero Trust
One of the most important BYOD security best practices is incorporating Zero Trust principle of requiring every action to be checked and authorized, every time. It’s an effective way to minimize lateral movement in the event of account compromise and excels at simplifying secure access to cloud, web and private applications.
Consider adopting security technologies that allow you to implement the principle of least privilege so that employees on any device only have access to the tools they need to do their job. Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) and Zero Trust Web Access (ZTWA) are good starting points.
5. Prevent shadow IT
There are over 800,000 cloud applications out there and any one of them is a potential risk for a data leak or breach. While you want to restrict which can be used, you don’t want to be too overbearing – it will push employees will find a way around the rules and invite more risk into the organization.
Implement broad visibility and control over cloud applications with a Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) that uses a reverse proxy and has agentless protection. This gives coverage over every single cloud application – rather than just those that the CASB integrates with – and extends your security policies to personal devices where employees may not want to download an agent.
6. Stop data theft and exfiltration in its tracks
Incorporate strong data security solutions that enable you to discover, classify, prioritize, protect and monitor interactions with data.
Eventually, organizations with advanced data security strategies can introduce risk-adaptive protection to automatically adjust policies based on context and user behavior to stop threats
Enforce BYOD security best practices like the experts
7. Prevent – don’t just detect – threats
Risk prevention is the name of the game when it comes to BYOD security best practices. That’s why it’s important to lean toward security solutions that prevent threats before they have a chance to strike, rather than tools that act after detecting a threat.
Remote Browser Isolation (RBI) and Zero Trust Content Disarm & Reconstruction (CDR) are two great examples. RBI renders all websites in a safe container, letting users interact with them like normal even if they house malicious content. Zero Trust CDR prevents files from launching known or unknown attacks by recreating documents with the verified information it extracts. Combined with Secure Web Gateway (SWG), all three technologies combine to provide ZTWA.
8. Get visibility throughout your network
Software-Defined Wide Area Networking (SD-WAN) provides a trove of security analytics for organizations on what is going on across their network.
With Forcepoint Secure SD-WAN, companies can use our Endpoint Context Agent (ECA) to better understand the devices and users that are accessing the network. Deployable on endpoint devices, it provides granular visibility of traffic and information about the user, device and application being used to better detect and prevent threats.
9. Push data security everywhere
Applying and maintaining data security policies across all the different methods data is accessed only adds more complexity to BYOD policies.
Data Security Everywhere simplifies BYOD security. Set policies once within Forcepoint DLP and seamlessly extend them to Forcepoint ONE CASB, ZTNA or SWG to apply the same protection to cloud, web, email, endpoint, network and private apps.
Talk to an expert today about BYOD security best practices and how to mitigate risk for your organization.