Five ways Microsoft 365 can increase your BYOD protection

Cybercrime is on the rise. In 2020 alone, experts predict corporate losses through cybercrime could exceed $6 trillion. While that’s a colossal figure in itself, it could well be just the tip of the iceberg as we see companies increasingly move their operations online and the use of devices by employees (referred to as Bring Your Own Device – BYOD) becomes more prevalent.

In certain countries, smartphone ownership is estimated at around 90%, with many employees already using their devices for work. Indeed, at the start of the year, around 70% of companies allowed employees remote access to their networks (even before the Coronavirus lockdowns).  

The threat posed by Covid-19 forced many societal changes – not least of which has been the meteoric rise of online working, and software companies have been quick to react to the changes.

For example, Microsoft 365 (previously known as office 365) comes pre-packaged with security resources to prevent network threats common in remote working. In particular, it ships with various in-built systems to control your exposure from the emerging BYOD culture.

The risk of losing data through leakage

One of the major security concerns posed by BYOD policies is the fact companies rarely have a clue what software and apps are installed on an employee’s phone. Moreover, many popular mobile apps request wide-sweeping file permissions on installation – potentially also gaining access to sensitive company data.

Microsoft 365 counters this threat through the Microsoft Intune system, which prevents third-party access to company resources and data.   

Work-life and personal life combine on mobile devices

In an ideal world, your company would supply employees with devices specifically for work, as this is the only way to prevent a potential clash between work and personal apps. However, where this isn’t possible, Microsoft 365 can offer an additional layer of security to your company data by doing various security checks before granting access. This can be as simple as requesting a PIN to view company emails – but can go much deeper, depending on your requirements.

Device theft or loss

By far the biggest threat in BYOD is from lost or stolen devices. If an employee’s phone isn’t sufficiently well-protected, a device can grant full access to a company network in just a few taps. With Microsoft 365, it’s possible to limit device access remotely from a central hub in your network. Or, in a worst-case scenario, wipe the device completely.

Access through lost or stolen devices – or even by employees who have already left the company – accounts for around 40% of all BYOD data problems. Having remote access and delete control is essential.

BYOD means less corporate control over devices

Unless they already work in IT, most employees aren’t aware of the significant threats presented through BYOD – and likely aren’t aware of how attacks can happen. To mitigate this risk, Microsoft 365 offers Advanced Threat Protection – an automated system that protects against phishing, spam, and other malicious attacks.

Automated security updates

Using the most up to date versions of software is central to maintaining protection online. Security patches and updates are common across all software as new threats appear and are identified. Microsoft 365 automatically updates itself as new versions are released, removing the need for your employees to remember – and this applies across all devices (desktop, laptop, tablet, and cellphone).

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