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How to overcome 4 common BYOD security threats with Microsoft 365

Flexible working is starting to become the norm in UK businesses, with 45 percent of companies employing a Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) policy.

But while BYOD policies are on the rise, 61 percent of businesses fell victim to successful cyberattacks following their introduction. Fortunately, with Microsoft 365, you can protect your business against these BYOD security threats and focus on building a productive modern workplace.

Allowing employees to bring their own devices to work is proven to improve their work rate. In fact, the use of personal devices at work saves employees 58 minutes per day. Flexible working can also:

  • Save you money. Businesses no longer need to provide and provision corporate devices for employees. However, it’s worth weighing this benefit against any tax relief derived from purchasing employee devices.
  • Increase employee happiness and satisfaction. Employees use the devices that best suit their needs and working style. This makes their work day easier and more enjoyable, leading to higher levels of overall satisfaction.
  • Boost productivity. Employees work faster and smarter when they know how to use their devices, reducing training time and bottlenecks.

    For more tips on boosting your employee workrate, check out the infographic below:

As you can see, a BYOD policy can bring a number of positive changes to your business. But, without the right implementation strategy, it can also open your business up to new security threats. Don’t let that put you off though. There’s always an element of risk to any worthwhile transformation. As long as you prepare for BYOD in the right ways, you can reap the rewards while keeping your business safe.

For those unfamiliar with Microsoft 365, here is a quick summary:

  • – An integrated bundle of Windows 10, Office 365, and Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS)
  • – It is available as a Software-as-a-service (SaaS) subscription
  • – It forms a core part of Microsoft’s secure modern workplace strategy

One of the greatest benefits of Microsoft 365 is the ability to access your favourite Office applications on any device, without the risk of compromised data.

Here are 4 ways Microsoft 365 can help your business overcome common BYOD security threats.

BYOD security threat #1: The risk of data leakage

When you allow employees to bring their own device to work, you increase the risk of data leakage. Many mobile apps gain sweeping permissions to access device data and your employee may not even know they’ve granted a third-party app access to confidential information.

Microsoft 365 addresses this with its built-in contains Microsoft Intune integration, enabling you to use specific protection policies to secure your company data. These policies restrict third-party access to company resources and data on any device with a Microsoft 365 subscription, making it impossible for employees to accidentally leak sensitive information.

BYOD security threat #2: Less control over devices

Often unregulated BYOD policies will lead to less centralised control over employee devices. This leaves them more vulnerable to hackers wanting to gain access to your business data.

Fortunately, you can guard against this threat with Microsoft 365 through Advanced Threat Protection. This gives all enrolled devices extended protection against spam, malware, phishing and malicious links.

It scans email attachments and potentially malicious URLS in real time to protect your business. Not only that, but if an employee clicks a potentially malicious email link a warning screen will appear before accessing the link.

BYOD security threat #3: Mixing personal and business data

One of the biggest BYOD security threats is dealing with personal and business data on the same device. Since your employees are likely to use their own devices for activities outside of work, there is a risk that they could accidentally share sensitive corporate info.

Once again, Microsoft 365 holds the key, by allowing employees to secure business data on personal devices. For example, they can set up a PIN to view company emails and reduce the risk of confidential information falling into the wrong hands.

BYOD security threat #4: Loss or theft of personal devices

Did you know that lost or stolen devices caused 40 percent of data breaches in businesses with a BYOD policy? With employees carrying their devices around 24/7, the risk of theft or loss increases exponentially.

Thankfully, with Microsoft 365 you can protect files on lost or stolen devices. With simple toggle options you can secure your data or even remotely wipe all the data from a device. You can do this at any time, regardless of whether a device is lost, stolen or the employee has left your business.

With Microsoft 365, you not only reduce the risk of common BYOD security threats, but also empower your employees to work smarter. Users have access to all the Microsoft tools they know and love, including the full Office 365 suite and the Windows 10 desktop. It’s important to take steps to ensure effective security, such as configuring the software in a certain way, like activating single sign-on, or using additional solutions like Microsoft’s Enterprise Mobility Suite.

Having the right tools not only streamlines the working experience, but provides the perfect system for business growth, creating a secure, productive and collaborative environment.

If you’d like to know more about the way we can help you build a truly integrated modern workplace, check out our free guide to perfecting your Microsoft 365 deployment.

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