How to create a BYOD policy that keeps your business data secure

Bring your own device (BYOD) policies are commonplace in many organizations today. Employees bring in their personal cell phones, laptops, tablets and other mobile devices and use them to content to corporate networks. Additionally, employees regularly use personal computers and other devices not owned by the organization to work at home or on the road.

Unfortunately, BYOD can be risky for organizations that do not implement adequate security controls.  Personal devices that aren’t properly managed by the company often have inconsistent security controls implemented on them. For example, one device may lock out after three minutes of idle activity and require a complex password, while another may not even require a password to log on. However, both devices may be used to access sensitive or critical business data. For organizations that lack strong and consistent security controls, BYOD can easily turn into a security nightmare. Here’s a quick list of steps you can take to create a BYOD policy that will protect your business data:

  1. Establishing a policy that governs how BYOD devices can connect to and use organizational systems, how they should be backed up, and which security settings should be in place.
  2. Configure devices to connect to network resources over a transparent virtual private network.
  3. Gain greater control over mobile devices with a Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution. MDM solutions allow for more consistent security settings to be applied to devices. For example, applications can be whitelisted or blacklisted, BYOD devices can be geofenced, and jailbroken phones can be banned from connecting to networks or data stores.

BYOD and the ransomware threat
A large percentage of BYOD devices are mobile phones or tablets that are susceptible to some forms of ransomware. Mobile ransomware viruses often masquerade as enticing applications such as POGO Tear, which pretends to be a Pokemon Go application; Android defender, a bogus antivirus app; Charger, a fake battery management app; Lockdroid, a counterfeit Google Android update package; and Lockscreen, a deceptive Android lock screen app. Some mobile devices have been found to have malware pre-installed on them. The owners of those devices did not need to download a fake app. They were infected the moment they powered up the new device.

The good news is that mobile data is often easy to restore if appropriate backups have been taken of the phone or tablet. The bad news is that an infection may not be limited to your device. Worms may propagate through mobile email clients to your contacts. Additionally, some malware may infect a mobile device and then be transmitted to a computer when the device is connected for charging or data exchange.

Protect yourself by keeping your mobile operating systems and apps up to date. Consider a mobile firewall, mobile antivirus solution, and make sure you back up your device. Other BYOD devices such as laptops should be equipped with endpoint protection software, secure and up-to-date operating systems, and they should be backed up regularly.

Continue reading

2015 #Techsgiving at CDW

CDW asked me what my must-have products were for #Techsgiving sweeps and I have to say the choice was rather easy. These five products are my choice for the person who likes to work smart and play hard at home and on the go.  Vote for your favorite #techsgiving package here for a chance to win the package or other prizes.

Dell Laptop

 

 

 

 

 

This set begins with a laptop that knows no borders. Dell’s new XPS 13” 9343 laptop features the amazing infinity display that will make you feel like what you see on your computer is part of the world around you. Not only is this display thin and almost borderless, it is also a QHD+ with a resolution of 3200×1800 with touchscreen capability to boot. The rest of the machine is no slouch either. It features an i7 processor, 8GB of memory and a 256GB solid state drive so you can work like a champ and its 802.11ac WIFI will keep you connected at to WIFI easily and reliably.

QNAP

 

 

 

 

 

 

My second item is the QNAP TS-653 Pro NAS server. This beast of a NAS has so many uses that even the most tech savvy of you will be hard pressed to utilize them all. It comes without drives but it has six drive bays so my next choice is six 3TB Western Digital WD30EFRX 6Gb/s SATA WDHDDdrives. This should be plenty of space for most of you so I would recommend you configure the drives in a RAID 5 with one hot spare. This means that you would have 4 drives for data, one for parity and one that would automatically be swapped in if a single drive fails. Even with that configuration, you would have 12TB of space. For those of you who need more, simply drop the hot spare and you will have 15TB.

Your QNAP is not just a storage device. You can connect it directly to your TV to display videos and images or play music. The popular XBMC/Kodi media center can be installed directly on it as well as other application such as Chrome. You can also use it as a DLNA player to stream content to network devices such as AV receivers, computers and smart televisions. The QNAP has a variety of apps that can be installed on it. My favorites include the backup station that can operate as a Mac OS time machine and a backup device for Linux and Windows machines. You can also connect it to cloud storage such as Dropbox to backup that data. Additional features include a VPN server, antivirus software, web server, FTP server and much more.

Now that you have a powerful computing device you can take anywhere and a storage device to hold all your digital content and make it available to you, you might wonder what else you would need.

4k TV

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well, the laptop screen is great for lying on the couch, traveling and so much more, but sometimes you want a larger than life experience. Just plug the laptop into a 4k display and you’ll be able to do even more. The Samsung UN40JU6400F is a 40 inch 4k display that really shines. It has so many pixels that you can display six, non-overlapping windows on this 4k display and redefine the meaning of multitasking. This unit has 4 HDMI connections so you can connect that QNAP to it as well, but, even if you don’t, this TV is equipped with a wide variety of smart features including Netflix, Youtube, Hulu plus and web browsing.

Keyboard

The last item on my list is probably the best keyboard I have ever used. The Logitech G710+ is a mechanical keyboard that provides the perfect level of responsiveness, feedback, and speed. It is built for gamers but I use it for writing and have found that I can type noticeably faster with it. Logitech’s software can analyze how you type to show you which keys you utilize the most. The programmable keys can be used for games or you can program macros to perform common computer tasks. Such macros have the potential to save you a lot of time. You will also love the backlit display that can be adjusted or even turned off so that it provides the right amount of light for use. In the end, this is a polished, well-built keyboard with enough features for gamers and power users alike.

So, if you are like me and you want to work hard and play hard, grab a few of these great products for #Techsgiving. The only problem you’ll have is determining what is work and what is play.

 

New Laptop

I bought a new laptop today.  It is a Compaq v2000z.  Here are the specs.AMD Turion 64 ML-28 (1.6GHz)
1GB RAM
14.0 WXGA BrightView Widescreen (1280X768)
ATI Radeon(r) 128MB Xpress 200M w/productivity ports
100 GB Hard Drive
DVD/CD-RW Combo Drive
54g Integ. Broadcom 802.11b/g WLAN & BluetoothThere is a picture below.

laptop1