Bring Your Own DeviceInnovation is a human trait that drives technological advance. Unfortunately, scientists, engineers, designers and other professionals aren't the only ones with this ability. Hackers and malware developers are equally adept. As a result, network security is becoming increasingly challenging as hackers and malware developers expand their repertoire.

Often, their techniques are less about innovation than merely exploiting the opportunities created by new technology, such as mobile devices. If your business has a bring-your-own device (BYOD) policy, make sure you protect against these three security issues:

Public Wi-Fi Networks

If your employees use their own computing devices and they frequent a nearby restaurant or coffee shop, cybercriminals intent on penetrating your network can exploit this by setting up fake WAPs (wireless access points) at this corporate "watering hole." Employees wishing to use the public Wi-Fi connect to a fake WAP instead.

People often use the same passwords for different accounts, and some of your employees may connect to the fake WAP with the same password they use to log into your corporate network. Hackers can also access unprotected data sent via the WAP and may infect or take control of the employee's device. The more popular the watering hole is with your employees, the better the hacker's prospects are for gaining a foothold into your network.

Device Loss and Theft

Personal devices kept on an employee's person are brought and used wherever they go. Absent mindedness or a distraction may cause the staff member to leave the device behind in a public place. People misplace their wallets and keys in this way, and there's no reason it won't ever happen to a device containing important corporate data and network-login credentials.

Devices too large for carrying around, such as tablets and laptops, are commonly left inside a parked car while an employee conducts personal business. Car theft or break-ins results in stolen devices — and therefore stolen data.

Mobile-Device Disposal

Most dumpster divers aren't interested in cashing in on recyclables. Instead, they're after the stored data inside tossed-out computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones. Even if your business properly disposes its old computers, the same may not be true of your employee's personal devices.

File deletion isn't enough because data-recovery technology can readily extract deleted data. In fact, it's possible to retrieve data from physically damaged memory devices. Hackers doing reconnaissance on a business may check nearby dumpsters for computing devices. Other people may sell the data at black markets to others with the ability to exploit it.

Finally, employees who fail to keep their devices' software and anti-virus up to date may expose your network to malware and other infections.

For answers to your network-security concerns, contact TelWare at 1-800-637-3148 or TelWare is a national leader in the installation of voice, video and data solutions.

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