You’re rushing to work. As you slam the car door and start striding towards the door, bag in one hand, coffee mug in the other, you notice a strange car out of the corner of your eye parked near the building. That’s weird, you think. You can’t quite put your finger on it, but it’s not a car you know, and your parking lot is always full of the same cars. But you’ve got other things to worry about, and the thought slides out of your head once you get into your office.
In your office, you notice that you can’t get anything to load on your network. You delegate – you get your assistant to figure it out. A few hours later, and things are still slow. You roll your eyes – you’re really going to have to call the IT company to get them to figure it out? You don’t have time for this. Call them, you tell your assistant, get them down here to fix this.
[pullquote]Plan ahead; stay in control.[/pullquote]Turns out, that car parked in the lot had someone inside it who had jumped onto your network. Your high speed connection, much higher than the regular consumer has access to, was being hacked through a vulnerable access point and information was being captured and analyzed for potential passwords.
What seemed like a random slowdown and an annoyance could actually have been a huge disaster.
Thanks to your IT company, you were able to plug the leak and put in security on the network that if you’d had in the first place would have kept your information safe.
1. What is BYOD?
Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) means people are bringing devices into your network. Think of what you have on you: probably a smart phone, maybe a tablet. You have a laptop, a desktop, and all of these devices have the ability to log on to wireless accounts and use the internet through your company or school’s network connection.
2. It takes advance planning.
When you set up your network, if you’re think of 1 to 1 in terms of devices and traffic, you’re under planning. Think big; think realistic. One person may walk into your company or school with three or four devices that can get on your network. Can you handle that amount of traffic?
When you give out passwords to get onto your system for guests, consultants, customers, and more, they can access the internet from their own device. But you don’t know what’s on their computer. What if one of them has a nasty habit of looking at porn, and a virus ends up on your network thanks to their internet activity?
Do the passwords last forever on a guest access account? You could set up temporary passwords that only work for a certain amount of time.
Superintendents: Do you want your students to be able to access the internet from their phones or laptops? If they do research online, can you stop them from getting onto your servers?
4. Consider employee access
Can your employees access corporate information from their devices – like checking corporate email accounts on their phone? What happens if their laptop or phone gets stolen? There should be a way to remotely erase the information on the devices.
Do you want all employees able to access all information in your network? What files can everyone access? If you’re not sure, you are in danger of losing control of possibly sensitive information.
5. Network security
If you’ve set up a network that allows people online using your connection, is it protected from those who might exploit it? You have to assume, sadly, that not everyone is going to play nice and use your network only for good things. Don’t leave your network open for people to use on their own devices without setting up security to protect yourself from bad guys (or gals).
Whatever money you save by not having security measures on your network will end up being spent anyway when someone hacks into your network. If someone has nothing to do with your company or school, make sure that they can’t use your network.
It’s not worth it to play fast and loose with the capacity of and security on your network given the amount of devices that people now carry with them. Plan ahead; stay in control.