Tag Archive | BYOD

Security Awareness at Your Business, What about BYOD? (mini-whitepaper)

What exactly does it take to make your business more secure? You might ask… “Do I need to secure all the computers with antivirus software?”  – or – “Do we have to set up a network security policy?”  – or –  “Is security really necessary? It’s costly, why do we need it?”

It is possible to consider all of those questions, and possibly even answer them in your own mind. It is necessary to have antivirus software and a good security policy. It is also good to keep an eye on all of your employees as necessary to make sure they stay on task. 😉

However, let’s focus on some of the main data here…

  • Security awareness can be determined as the knowledge of how security systems work, and being able to apply them to an object. It matters to the physical and digital assets of the organization…AKA, your money, data, etc. Maybe it matters these days to say “Time is money, data is money, and so on…etc.”
  • Educate your employees on these matters, especially on the types of threats that can be seen in today’s malware world. Many things, especially on smartphones, are easy to spot. It’s good to keep an eye on the latest information about threats.
  • Password security is always important! Therefore, educate everyone on the basis of password security…including executives. Everyone you know in your business needs to be educated and re-educated. It’s so easy to become comfortable with choosing an easy password. Get out of the habit before it costs your company a fortune!
  • Protect your information and develop a policy for social media, BYOD, etc. It is important to educate your employees on how they should post on social networks anything about your company. The last things you need is for a pre-release to be leaked, private data leaked, a controversial issue light up, etc. Also, make sure to keep your employees off of non-work apps on their smartphones, and only focused on work. (BYOD at work says use smartphone for work only)
  • Back up your rules with consequences (honestly enforce them too), to make sure if security policies and procedures are broken, at least the employee will know how much trouble they’re in.
  • To scale this security awareness project further, download NIST’s Special Publication 800-50 – Building an Information Technology Security Awareness and Training Program to learn how to make your own.

 

Security & BYOD for the iPhone 5 (mini-whitepaper)

As you upgrade to the iPhone 5, please keep in mind some principles, both personal and business.

  • If your iPhone will be handed down to a child, make sure ALL critical data is removed from there. This includes all business data, personal details, etc. It is highly critical to maintain your business and personal identity.
  • As new devices are created, new threats are created as well. These security threats need to be identified and taken care of. Just because it is a new iPhone does not mean it’s immune from security threats. Security is a losing battle, because hackers are always trying to stay one-step ahead of programmers/developers. While developers are working around the clock trying to prepare these new capable hardware/software, hackers are doing the same working against them.
  • The iPhone 5 is set to accelerate BYOD, which means better available options to network administrators. Things like data copying, wiping operations (erasing loads of data), etc.
  • The iOS 6’s Passbook feature can store financial information for securing digital transactions. If you’re comfortable storing that information go ahead, otherwise just keep it off.
  • Emails, texts, and calendar appointments can be modified by the Siri app, without requiring the administrator to log in to the device.
  • If Apple succeeds in the acquisition of AuthenTec, it allows for a fingerprint identification security system for the device, making it more secure physically. But this technology is pending at the moment.
  • Apple calls the iPhone 5 “The thinnest, lightest, fastest iPhone ever”, but they mention nothing about security do they?

 

If this has helped you personally or your business in any way, please consider making a donation to help further the seCURE Connexion project.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) in Education (mini-whitepaper)

BYOD is the technology philosphy and business/education policy of bringing your own device (mobile) or technology (shortened BYOT for laptops, iPads, etc.), and using it while at work or school. Therefore, the use in education can be very beneficial as well as troublesome. Of course, monitored by teachers, it can prove those benefits.

In the past, schools provide the technology that the students would need, but as economic troubles emerge and technology is more pricey, it is better established for a student to BYOD. Basically, the schools are asking the parents of these students (except for college-age students) to purchase the devices so the student can use the technology at school.

These are some of the reasons for the set list below of advantages and disadvantages of BYOD in education, and how you can decide what’s best.

(Awesome guide by Cisco [PDF]: http://www.cisco.com/web/strategy/docs/education/46096_byod_ed_aag.pdf )

Advantages

  • Frees up tons of expenditure in educational costs.
  • Provides a big teaching arsenal for teachers, allowing students to view e-textbooks, videos, educational apps, online research, digital learning apps, etc. This type of provision allows reinforced ideas and teachings, and blends the learning. Thus, it has been named as Blended Learning.
  • Less confusion, since the student can use the device at school or at home. This will provide a major way for students to understand the apps much better, make better use of projects (and actually accomplish a good grade), and make learning more fun.
  • Filtering software becoming available (which would be armed on wireless networks and have an acceptable-use-policy in place) to break some disadvantages, which are listed next.
  • Makes learning more efficient. Students are more wired in to technology, so the efficiency of learning would be better for students of all types.
  • Repair costs for educators? Phewey! Students/parents are responsible for repairs, no problem.
  • Digitized classrooms, which brings back instant results in points systems and other apps. The teacher can have their own subscription to the service, while the students utilize their subscription. The students enter the answers or project data, and it can be automatically graded and sent to the teacher. Makes it easier for scoring, saves a lot of time grading, and boosts efficiency even more.
  • Gamification, which brings educational games can be developed which correspond to the learning program and make it more fun for those student gamers talked about above.
  • Ability to instantly send results from government checking units, which may see the quality of education through these digitized classrooms. This could provide the way for even better apps to be developed, more schools to take on the philosophy, and improvement of technology in the classroom.

Disadvantages

  • The biggest concern in doing the BYOD philosophy, is the inability to filter out inappropriate text, images, videos, etc. Teachers would still be required to check up on each student to make sure they’re staying on task. It is sure those sneaky students will still find a way around the fact the teacher checks on them.
  • Ability to filter out gaming is a problem. Games are so easy to access and put away in smart phones and iPads, that it would be easy for students to play a game, see the teacher, react, and close the game before getting caught. The reaction time is so much easier than a PC/Mac (where a taskbar reveals current apps open).
  • With students having access to the device at home and school, they can get used to the devices easier and learn better reaction times, just described above.
  • Inappropriate digital material being brought to school. The major concern is focused on plagiarism, school cheating, etc. One example would include macros (which can automate math problems).
  • Forgotten, lost, damaged, or stolen device. This is especially true for younger students. There could be problems of leaving it on the bus, dropping it in a puddle or water, leaving it on a desk, someone stealing it, etc. Also, the fact that confidential data could be at risk. This could provide a whole new level of privacy trouble and potential liability for schools, if gone out of hand.
  • Some students live in poor or lower income/budgeted families that cannot afford such devices. There is hope that PTA organizations and such can provide financial assistance or a more generic low-cost device to help the student get the best learning possible. While many families are prepared for the general school fee, they’re not so prepared for this new philosophy of BYOD.
  • Schools not prepared with the proper wireless equipment, filtering software, and other technologies such as software apps.
  • Cuts the needs of extra teachers, teacher assistants, etc. Which could drop employment levels in education. But, of course, an assistant could qualify as helpful in monitoring the student’s habits on the device.

Overall, the advantages versus disadvantages are pretty standard, and hopefully, it can help educators decide if the use of it is okay for their systems of learning.

If this has saved you money or your organization money, or potentially provides savings, please donate to further our cause of better security.

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