Pokémon Go and workplace data security
With over 25 million users playing every day, and downloads and active users surpassing even Twitter and Tinder, Pokémon Go is turning out to be one of the most popular mobile applications of all time. According to Data Security Law Blog, it also highlights the risks in BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policies.
With a BYOD device that has Pokémon Go installed, the risks come from the security — or more accurately, insecurity — of the Pokémon Go app itself. Earlier versions of the game gave the app full access to the user’s complete Google account profile and related information, including Google-accessible email accounts and search history. While it’s not likely that this now-fixed security hole led to any breaches, it’s a prime example of how a suddenly popular app running on a BYOD device can lead to trouble.
All this is still new territory — the smartphone as we currently know it won’t even turn 10 until next year — and businesses would do well to watch the effects of apps like Pokémon Go, and alter their mobile policies accordingly.
The pros and cons of BYOD
As we’ve observed before, mobile devices are more personal than even “personal” computers. People don’t want to part with them, which is why they prefer to bring them to work — and use them for work. This attachment to our mobile devices, for which we’re finding more and more uses, is why at least two-thirds of employees are using their own mobile devices in the course of doing their jobs.
Tech.co has a brief but useful article that summarizes the big pros and cons of BYOD, explains what the general best practices are, and explains why training employees is key to a successful BYOD implementation. If your organization is considering or just starting with a BYOD program, it would be worth your time to read this article.
The 11-step guide to BYOD security, or how to avoid getting fired
In a recent entry on their blog, Heimdal Security provide these BYOD statistics:
- 67 percent of workers already use personal devices in the workplace.
- 50 percent of companies will require employees to provide their own devices for their jobs by the year 2017.
- 69 percent of IT decision makers in the U.S. (and up to 88 percent in some countries) feel BYOD is a good thing for the organization.
- 49 percent of users say they are more productive using their own devices.
- 74% of organisations use or about to adopt BYOD.
In the same article, they list eleven common sense (which is uncommon) steps for BYOD users to secure the personal mobile devices they use for work. As they say, “security is each user’s own business”.