BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), like many new tech trends, sounds perfect on paper. It’s a way of reducing workplace costs, boosting productivity and encouraging innovation. But unsurprisingly, there’s a catch.
Inviting external devices into the workplace – whether in a commercial company or military context – can threaten security, putting sensitive business or intelligence systems at risk.
In this blog post we dig a little deeper into the BYOD trend, exploring its many benefits, as well as its risks.
What is BYOD?
The idea behind BYOD is simple. If a company offers a BYOD scheme, it means they allow their employees to use their own devices – whether it be a smartphone, tablet or laptop – to access business content or networks. And thanks to a surge in remote working, the idea has taken off in workplaces across the globe, including the world of defense.
But while increased mobility and innovation may be at the forefront of defense, so is security. So how does a BYOD strategy play out in the commercial and military sector? And how can we make sure it’s secure?
How does BYOD work?
There’s more to BYOD than simply lugging your laptop to the office. In fact, for organizations with mobile operations in areas with an existing mobile infrastructure like the Home Guard or NGOs, personal smartphones are increasingly used as C2IS hardware platforms. In a civilian company this form of BYOD might be called remote resource management; in the military it is called C2, or Command and Control.
In the context of defense, BYOD most commonly refers to personal smartphones. While these devices can be important for those in service, they do pose questions over security. That’s why users are increasingly issued with an organizational SIM-card that uses a dedicated APN.
Once provided with an APN link, it’s then easy to download the latest version of the military organization C2IS or civilian mobile tasking application. Preconfigured with plans and tasks specific to the ongoing operation, the application is operational as soon as the user selects a callsign. Not only that, but all application updates can be instantly distributed throughout the same network.
So far so good, but there is one important thing to remember – a BYOD strategy can only work if the system supports the relevant device types and if the organization has a private APN.
What does BYOD mean for operational security?
Security is at the heart of all BYOD strategies – and for good reason. External devices can pose a serious threat, but there are steps organizations can take to ensure their data and internal systems stay safe. Most important of all is the use of a dedicated APN, which will allow you and your team to connect to the corporate network simply and safely. A must when it comes to creating a BYOD strategy that’s both efficient and secure.