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Guest Article: BYOD and Video Conferencing Security

February 5, 2014 | David S. Maldow, Esq.


The TPO News audience is always on the lookout for good tips when it comes to BYOD and security. With that in mind, we bring you this guest article from our friends at TrueConf.

Ten years from now, about 50 billion IP-supporting devices will be produced and used all over the world. Mobile platforms have significantly changed business processes, increasing employee mobility and the speed of business, but jeopardizing the safety of corporate information.

BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) practices are gaining increasing popularity in video conferencing solutions. Companies are increasingly implementing these solutions in order to improve the efficiency of their business. Video conferencing allows employees to work anywhere, regardless of their location. This, in turn, gives more freedom to employees, improves and increases workflow, and increases their loyalty to their employer.

Most businesses now use some form of the popular BYOD concept in one way or another, often without sufficient preliminary analysis of benefits and risks. As a specialist in virtual communications, TrueConf would like to advise their customers about both the possible challenges and benefits of BYOD.

Benefits of BYOD
The BYOD model has the potential to create substantial savings, as organizations which allow employees to bring their own devices to work do not spend any extra money on corporate phones. In addition, when an employee can work and use the device of own choice, it feels more pleasant than the use of unfamiliar corporate devices.

Another advantage of BYOD is that it supports mobile and cloud-oriented IT strategies. Employees can access working papers from their personal mobile devices, and thus stay connected to the network, where they are able to promptly fulfill their tasks.


Challenges of BYOD
Despite all the advantages of BYOD, implementing in an enterprise may create risks for data security. Firstly, data loss and unauthorized interception may occur during the transmission of information via the Internet.

The risk of loss of the device itself is even more dangerous: unlike a corporate laptop, a private cell phone is not guaranteed to request a secure password when you turn it on. That is why we now see greater activity in this area among developers, who are creating products which aim to add means of personal data protection to personal devices.

A best-practice example is the inclusion of a fingerprint sensor in the new iPhone. For a more classical approach, Blackberry's use of the Blackberry Enterprise Server in their smartphones also provides acceptable security. The data is not stored on the device itself, and all operations with content are performed via a secure channel on the servers of the manufacturer.

As well as generating security issues, the use of personal mobile devices may affect the efficiency of employees who are unable to set personal goals and manage their time away from the office, and calls into question the rational use of working time. There is no corporate firewall, limitation of user rights or access to the distractions of social media, such as Facebook access.

Our Advice
Make sure to protect your corporate data by selecting BYOD applications which provide sufficient security. Every business application should require an obligatory sign-in and security authorization from the employee before every work session. The application must also ensure the availability of mandatory defense protocols (SSL/TLS) and traffic signal encryption (AES-256 or GOST) when connecting to corporate resources.

It is essential to have certain corporate rules governing remote work with business applications, such as the restricting the use of employees' devices within a closed corporate network. This will significantly reduce the risk of information leakage. Enforcing the use of a locking system on a device (such as a PIN, password or unlock pattern) will also increase security.

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