News Column

BYOD Policy Puts Corporate Data at Risk

Dec. 13, 2012
Phones

Fiberlink today announced the results of a survey conducted online nationwide by Harris Interactive on behalf of Fiberlink from earlier this year* among 2,243 U.S. adults aged 18 and older that shows the majority of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) employees are not properly disposing of or wiping corporate information from personal devices when upgrading to the latest tablets and smartphones.

These findings come at a critical time, when holiday sales of wireless connected devices are expected to surge, and employees will look to infuse new technologies into the workforce at record rates. So, what happens to all the displaced devices?

According to the survey of U.S. adults who previously had a smartphone and/or tablets before the one(s) they currently use for work, only 16% had the data professionally wiped from the old device and only 5% had the device securely destroyed.

The majority of respondents, 58%, said they kept the old device, although it remained inactive; 13% turned it over to their service provider; 11% said they donated the device, simply gave it away or threw it in the trash; and 9% did something else with their previous device.

"Protecting corporate data on personal devices is a key priority for all companies. This survey raises new concerns that companies must address in order to safeguard sensitive information as devices approach the end of their lifecycle," said Jonathan Dale, Director of Marketing at Fiberlink. "With new devices hitting the market from every major manufacturer this holiday season, including Apple, Microsoft, and Google, it will be important to know the right way to decommission a device."

If you're an employee or employer looking to swap out a BYOD device, Fiberlink has developed a four-step process to make sure your device deactivation is easy and stress-free.

1. Notify Your IT Department. Once you receive a new device and want to use it for your company's BYOD program, send your IT department a note and let them know you will be swapping devices.

2. Transfer Corporate Materials to Your New Device. Have your IT department quickly transfer all corporate materials from the old device to the new device through their mobile device management (MDM) platform. This generally involves enrolling in an MDM solution which pushes down corporate e-mail and Wi-Fi profiles, applications and corporate documents. If you don't have an MDM solution, ask your IT department to assist with transferring data, although it could take much longer.

3. Extract Personal Data from Your Device. Now that your corporate data has been transferred to the new device, remove and save all personal files. This can be accomplished with the native tools and back-up services of the operative system or the manufacture (e.g., Apple's iCloud and Google Drive).

4. Erase all Remaining Personal and Corporate Data. Fully decommission the old device by removing all personal and corporate data. Make sure to delete all data. Most devices have an option in the setting menu to perform a factory data reset which will wipe the data completely. This can also be accomplished remotely by an MDM platform. Note: In some tablets and smartphones, you should manually remove the storage card and use it in your new device or erase the data from it as well.

*Survey Methodology: This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive from July 5 - 9, 2012 among 2,243 adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.



Source: Copyright PRNewswire 2012