Click here to close now.


Related Topics: Cloud Security, Java IoT, Mobile IoT, Agile Computing

Cloud Security: Article

Defining BYOD Policies

In 2013, analysts say there was an 81% growth of mobile devices worldwide.

The rise of mobile is still going strong and it shows no signs of stopping!, In 2013, analysts say there was an 81% growth of mobile devices worldwide.

Actually, according to the new Cisco report - "Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update" - the mobile traffic in 2013 was 18 times the size of the entire internet in 2000. The study reports that in 2013 the internet traffic per user averaged 356MB of data a month. Even more amazing, is that the trend expects it to increase to 3GB per user in 2018.

All of these changes - the use of mobile data, the internet of things - all have real world applications on our businesses. Now, if you've been getting comfortable with BYOD so far, be careful with the expected twists and turns. More and more devices are being introduced to the market, new services and apps as well. Despite the turbulent start, everyone seems to be jumping on the BYOD wagon; but some companies, who are not planning ahead, should really start looking forward for those upcoming pot holes. CIOs can expect real security threats to emerge, hidden costs, legal affairs with employees and many other issues... The solution? An effective policy covering all angles of the BYOD practice from all its perspectives and of course an MDM tool.

Over the last months organizations' employees have embraced the BYOD practices, CIOs are concerned about security issues, lawyers have given their advice, and MDM vendors have taken their message to the companies. But while CIOs try to come up with the best solution to police this practice, users continue to buy more products and increase the type of devices.

Aberdeen considers that understanding what is going on is a must. They ran a survey this January to find out that 3 of 4 responders have a BYOD program in place; yet two thirds of these plans are not enforcing compliance, security, or legal policies.

Mark Charleton from Blue Solutions told us that CIOs are concerned and thankful with the MDM vendors for pushing their messages of compliance and security to the business managers. This helps them to take this topic to the management table in order to become a BYOD enabler together with the other operational areas including HR, Sales, Marketing, Operations and Legal.

However, all these concerns about hidden costs and hard-to-measure worker productivity don't matter to the employees as their convenience to have business and personal lives blended in one single device. Somehow the tables have turned, the employees are in the driver's seat!

The Dirty Little Secret

Horror... horror!

When it comes to BYOD expense reporting, employee's behavior isn't exactly criminal, but it is cheating. The temptation to submit a huge expense report for the personal smartphone that might have been used for work purposes could be too high to resist.

According to the mobile consultancy "Network Sourcing Advisors," even when the BYOD policies clearly state otherwise employees include their family plans, upgraded phones and termination fees to their BYOD expense plans. Executive globe-trotters would rack up huge international charges and float them past the inattentive eyes of finance.

Companies often counter this abuse by putting a monthly stipend or cap on reimbursement. But let's be honest, most people will ask for the highest stipend and sign up for the biggest data plan so that they won't be hit with overage charges.

The fact is that employees don't really want to pay for their smartphones, tablets, and laptops. They just want an easy-to-use device for their work and their personal life, and of course it is better if the company pays the bill.

This trend is racing towards chaos in the 2014. The number of smartphones, tables and even Laptops under the BYOD umbrella is increasing by day. Complications and confusions are forcing changes to BYOD policies.

Can you COPE?

Some few companies have enabled a hybrid approach called COPE - Company Owned, Personal Enabled - model. COPE is the opposite of BYOD. Businesses using a COPE strategy provide their employees with IT devices and gadgets to be used and managed by them; the companies maintain ownership of such devices, so they can monitor and control their activity to a complete degree. Besides business purposes, employees can use their devices for their personal activities. COPE may be a less expensive option that BYOD, in which employees are often reimbursed for all or part of the cost of the devices they buy. This is because if the company buys devices, it can generally get them for less than retail price. COPE also gives the company more power in terms of policing and protecting devices, thus reducing many of the BYOD risks.

In 2014 and 2015 companies not using COPE will put practical BYOD programs and policies in place. Both mobile models imply the need to accelerate the businesses and move to SaaS. To those that can't COPE, modernize their core applications and become mobile friendly will become a must.

More Strict BYOD Policies

Let's face it, not all companies have budget enough to COPE; so BYOD will yet continue to be a growing trend. Sooner or later, these companies will need to develop effective BYOD policies. Policies should be defined in each area according to the employees activities and needs, to then be detailed and defined mainly by the Finance, Human Resources, and Legal departments that will be in charge of the available budgets and the legal implications that follow.

Once these policies are set up, they can be merged with an MDM tool, this way all the devices would be safely managed and controlled by the responsible areas.

BYOD Lawsuits Loom as Work Gets Personal

Will BYOD lead to a rash of lawsuits from employees who feel violated? Or maybe a headline-grabbing, class-action lawsuit? Companies better make sure they have an explicit terms-of-use BYOD agreement.

Like most tragic love stories, the BYOD affair may end up abruptly. In the early days of BYOD, say, 2013, employees fell madly in love with the idea of using their own iPhones, Android smartphones and new tablets for work. They could finally ditch corporate-issued and boring cell phones.

In a beginning BYOD promised that employees and employers would live happily ever after. But the BYOD romance suddenly turned sour. Employees are now questioning the intrusion of corporate eyes on their personal devices. Why did the Internal IT turn their beloved smartphone into a spy that tracks their whereabouts? Employees are beginning to sense companies taking advantage of BYOD by intruding on personal time to get free work time.

If CIOs have hourly employees with BYOD smartphones, they might want to leverage MDM to control the company's email security and delivery rules to those devices; meaning, they can set a business rule that won't allow delivery of corporate email to a subset of users during off-hours. This rule should be also addressed in the BYOD terms-of-use agreement. This is just an example, and the tip of the iceberg.

John Timko, Marketing Director in LabTec Software explained that MDM software has thankfully advanced quickly and has come up with a fix. Now companies can control only corporate apps from a BYOD smartphone or tablet, leaving personal apps untouched. While this helps tremendously, it doesn't completely solve the problem.

Let's say a company buys the popular productivity app, Evernote, for employees to put on their BYOD smartphones. Since the company paid for the app, the company can remove it at any time regardless of the personal data the employee may have added such as a shopping list, recipes, vacation plans, or perhaps something more critical to their job.

In conclusion, companies need to have better protections against employee's lawsuits regarding the BYOD practice, a well developed terms-of-use agreement, and leverage MDM to ensure this agreement is followed. Truth is, employees tend to get a bit emotional when their privacy is being violated or their location is being tracked via a mobile device that they personally own. They don't like their personal data to be seen or wiped, either. When these things happen, companies can expect the wrath of a scorned employee.

More Stories By Monica Paul

Monica Paul is a marketer with 20 years experience in local, regional, and global marketing strategies. In 2001, after 8 years working as an employee for several IT companies such as Micrografx and Visio; Monica founded Marcomtec, marketing firm giving services initially to the IT industry that then diversified to other industries. In 2013 Monica launched, Magic MasterMinds (, a marketing platform to help writers all over the world to market their books leveraging this way reading as a daily activity.

Latest Stories
Mobile, social, Big Data, and cloud have fundamentally changed the way we live. “Anytime, anywhere” access to data and information is no longer a luxury; it’s a requirement, in both our personal and professional lives. For IT organizations, this means pressure has never been greater to deliver meaningful services to the business and customers.
Today’s connected world is moving from devices towards things, what this means is that by using increasingly low cost sensors embedded in devices we can create many new use cases. These span across use cases in cities, vehicles, home, offices, factories, retail environments, worksites, health, logistics, and health. These use cases rely on ubiquitous connectivity and generate massive amounts of data at scale. These technologies enable new business opportunities, ways to optimize and automate, al...
Chris Van Tuin, Chief Technologist for the Western US at Red Hat, has over 20 years of experience in IT and Software. Since joining Red Hat in 2005, he has been architecting solutions for strategic customers and partners with a focus on emerging technologies including IaaS, PaaS, and DevOps. He started his career at Intel in IT and Managed Hosting followed by leadership roles in services and sales engineering at Loudcloud and Linux startups.
Saviynt Inc. has announced the availability of the next release of Saviynt for AWS. The comprehensive security and compliance solution provides a Command-and-Control center to gain visibility into risks in AWS, enforce real-time protection of critical workloads as well as data and automate access life-cycle governance. The solution enables AWS customers to meet their compliance mandates such as ITAR, SOX, PCI, etc. by including an extensive risk and controls library to detect known threats and b...
For almost two decades, businesses have discovered great opportunities to engage with customers and even expand revenue through digital systems, including web and mobile applications. Yet, even now, the conversation between the business and the technologists that deliver these systems is strained, in large part due to misaligned objectives. In his session at DevOps Summit, James Urquhart, Senior Vice President of Performance Analytics at SOASTA, Inc., will discuss how measuring user outcomes –...
Recently announced Azure Data Lake addresses the big data 3V challenges; volume, velocity and variety. It is one more storage feature in addition to blobs and SQL Azure database. Azure Data Lake (should have been Azure Data Ocean IMHO) is really omnipotent. Just look at the key capabilities of Azure Data Lake:
As-a-service models offer huge opportunities, but also complicate security. It may seem that the easiest way to migrate to a new architectural model is to let others, experts in their field, do the work. This has given rise to many as-a-service models throughout the industry and across the entire technology stack, from software to infrastructure. While this has unlocked huge opportunities to accelerate the deployment of new capabilities or increase economic efficiencies within an organization, i...
Electric power utilities face relentless pressure on their financial performance, and reducing distribution grid losses is one of the last untapped opportunities to meet their business goals. Combining IoT-enabled sensors and cloud-based data analytics, utilities now are able to find, quantify and reduce losses faster – and with a smaller IT footprint. Solutions exist using Internet-enabled sensors deployed temporarily at strategic locations within the distribution grid to measure actual line lo...
The Internet of Everything is re-shaping technology trends–moving away from “request/response” architecture to an “always-on” Streaming Web where data is in constant motion and secure, reliable communication is an absolute necessity. As more and more THINGS go online, the challenges that developers will need to address will only increase exponentially. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Todd Greene, Founder & CEO of PubNub, will explore the current state of IoT connectivity and review key trends an...
Docker is hot. However, as Docker container use spreads into more mature production pipelines, there can be issues about control of Docker images to ensure they are production-ready. Is a promotion-based model appropriate to control and track the flow of Docker images from development to production? In his session at DevOps Summit, Fred Simon, Co-founder and Chief Architect of JFrog, will demonstrate how to implement a promotion model for Docker images using a binary repository, and then show h...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM Cloud Data Services has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. IBM Cloud Data Services offers a portfolio of integrated, best-of-breed cloud data services for developers focused on mobile computing and analytics use cases.
As the world moves towards more DevOps and microservices, application deployment to the cloud ought to become a lot simpler. The microservices architecture, which is the basis of many new age distributed systems such as OpenStack, NetFlix and so on, is at the heart of Cloud Foundry - a complete developer-oriented Platform as a Service (PaaS) that is IaaS agnostic and supports vCloud, OpenStack and AWS. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Raghavan "Rags" Srinivas, an Architect/Developer Evangeli...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly by extending current technologies, products and networks. By 2020, Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices. Gartner has forecast revenues of over $300 billion, just to IoT suppliers. Now is the time to figure out how you’ll make money – not just create innovative products. With hundreds of new products and companies jumping into the IoT fray every month, there’s no shortage of innovation. Despite this, McKinsey/VisionMobile data...
Today air travel is a minefield of delays, hassles and customer disappointment. Airlines struggle to revitalize the experience. GE and M2Mi will demonstrate practical examples of how IoT solutions are helping airlines bring back personalization, reduce trip time and improve reliability. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Dr. Sarah Cooper, M2Mi's VP Business Development and Engineering, will explore the IoT cloud-based platform technologies driv...
DevOps is here to stay because it works. Most businesses using this methodology are already realizing a wide range of real, measurable benefits as a result of implementing DevOps, including the breakdown of inter-departmental silos, faster delivery of new features and more stable operating environments. To take advantage of the cloud’s improved speed and flexibility, development and operations teams need to work together more closely and productively. In his session at DevOps Summit, Prashanth...