Network Products Guide: How does the Bring Your Own Service (BYOS) movement the use of cloud services such as file sync services and mobile file sharing impact compliance and data protection? And how can you police your data if you don’t know where it’s stored?
Yorgen Edholm: Allowing employees to conduct work-related activities on personal mobile devices has big productivity advantages. The problems arise when that freedom is extended to allowing users to pick and choose their own file sharing applications. Productivity then comes at a hefty price, in terms of opening up the enterprise to unwanted security risks via applications that weren’t intended for enterprise use.
It’s a tough situation for organizations that don’t want to hinder staff’s productivity, yet aren’t sure how to keep pace with the rise of mobile devices at work. One of our manufacturing customers was in this exact situation – wanting to meet employees’ needs but not willing to embrace a BYOS policy. His users were turning to Dropbox behind the scenes and he vocalized his concerns:
“With public cloud providers, there are so many unknowns when it comes to security: Where exactly are your files? How do you get files back if you change providers? How do you know where your employees are sending files? We weren’t willing to give up rights to data that was sensitive, proprietary, and rightfully ours.”
He took a smart path, realizing that it was important endorse one solution and one solution only – supporting a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy, while replacing FTP, Dropbox and other file transfer alternatives that employees sought out on their own. Our customer was right, your data is yours. And, it’s possible to maintain complete security control without constraining mobile productivity.