Emerging BYOD Security Trend - "Bring Your Own Network"

BYONBring Your Own Network (BYON), an offshoot of the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend, is steadily circulating in businesses around the world. BYON allows users to establish their own mobile networks even within the vicinity of their corporate network. The meteoric rise of BYODs and BYONs stems from their capacity to organically meld with cloud computing systems. However, since most mobile devices have the capability to create dynamic area networks (DANs) through embedded wireless hotspot features, the threat to internal networks becomes more imminent – stretching far beyond the presence of individual devices to rogue individual networks.

Advantages of the "Bring-Your-Own" Trend

The Bring-Your-Own (BYO) phenomenon is aimed at enhancing business continuity and management by empowering a mobile workforce. Employees can choose their preferred mobile devices and work remotely. The classic 9-to-5 office hours are shifting towards a newer, more constant paradigm. Most of the time, such flexibility allows businesses to take advantage of peak performance hours thereby increasing efficiency. Small and medium businesses (SMBs) can particularly benefit from a BYO policy because they do not have to pay to provide the devices, but they gain the benefit of efficiency.

Cloud-based applications offer an interesting and appealing array of benefits that expands workplace potential through BYOD. However, BYOD practices can also introduce threats to internal corporate networks. Beyond the inherent hostility of mobile devices, there are existent security risks within the networks themselves.

BYON: A Security Concern

BYON enables people to run applications on multiple cloud based environments at the same time. Cloud archiving, for instance, can be accomplished concurrently with many other applications from virtually anywhere on the planet. The key issue is that BYON doesn’t just involve a singular mobile device; rather a collection of entities that may or may not be secure.

While it’s true that no technology exists without an inherent threat, the difficulty lies in protecting the data that goes through the corporate networks. With BYON, people can run corporate apps and transfer sensitive client information through a variety of channels: the corporate network, their personal network and their paid-for mobile network. It just seems impossible to enforce a reliable security barrier to protect corporate data integrity.

Mitigating the Risks

There is currently no one-stop-shop solution for the combination of hostile risks surrounding BYONs. Traditional network firewalls tend to be ineffective because they only implement security constraints on the superficial transport layer; conventional security practices, such as data backup, no longer suffice in these sophisticated architectures and threats.

BYON can start out as a policy concern - making employees liable for lost or compromised data on wireless communication networks. On a larger scale, corporations can extend their layers of wireless security using a combination or variety of methods. Role-based authentication; dissociating network identity from network location; and integrating next-generation firewalls are just a few of the probable approaches to security.

In principle, it is vitally important for businesses to consistently evaluate and improve network security practices regardless of the user, device or network. In practice, these corporations should better understand the benefits as well as the functionality of software-defined networking (SDN) through the lens of IT expertise.

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