Is BYOD Safe?

I attended the InfoSec14 conference in Earls Court, London. I didn’t realise how large the venue was and the turnout was awesome! I came home equipped with enough free pens to last the rest of my career and a few other strange freebies such as socks, sticks of rock, ice cream and oyster card holders!

The conference was spread over 3 days with different talks, exhibitions and a lot of free alcohol! The main theme of the conference seemed to be “..come have a free beer with us”- not that I was complaining!

I met a vast array of cool people there and it was great to see hackers rubbing shoulders with CTO’s! I will most definitely be making an appearance next year!


‘Bring Your Own Device’ seemed to be on everyone’s lips at the conference. The question on whether it is possible to completely secure a BYOD system raised some debate at the conference. An exhibitor gave an insightful presentation on how simple it is to attack and pull data and credentials from a range of Android devices- it involved placing one handset in a freezer!

Over the coming years we’re going to see a major increase in the use of personal devices in the work place. Eventually this will be a great thing for employee productivity and collaboration. However, at this moment in time a flawless BYOD workplace is a long way off.

This is mainly because employees aren’t going out of their way to find the safest way to use their own device. They want an easy to use system that makes their work life easier and who can blame them! However this can cause a major issue for companies that need to keep their data secure. What if someone leaves the company with data still saved to the device?

So what do companies do? They want a seamless collaboration but can’t risk putting secure data at risk. One way companies can try to ensure that data is not being leaked when employees leave is to make sure that all the devices can be scanned and remotely wiped of sensitive data.

But how realistic is this? A survey shows that only 21% of IT teams routinely carry out such measures to protect themselves. In my opinion, the companies that keep one step ahead of the issues are the companies that are going to create a near flawless collaboration first!

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