Bring your own device: is your organization ready?

Canadian Security
Thursday December 12, 2013
Written by Canadian Security
To provide guidance on organizational mobile development strategies, Ontario’s Information and Privacy Commissioner, Dr. Ann Cavoukian, along with TELUS, explore the options for workplaces in a new white paper, Bring Your Own Device: Is Your Organization Ready?
More than 27 million Canadians use mobile computing devices such as laptops, smartphones and tablets and that number continues to grow. Consequently, Canadian employers are confronted with the workplace challenge of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). This phenomenon poses new challenges to data security, effective corporate oversight, and employee privacy.
 
“Once an organization makes the decision to adopt a BYOD policy, it is paramount to follow the principles of Privacy by Design by embedding privacy and security directly into the operational process,” said Commissioner Cavoukian. “By applying these systematic methods and assuring end-to-end safeguards, organizations will diminish the costly risk of data loss and in turn, witness significant long-term gains.”
 
Consistent with the Privacy by Design principle of comprehensive end-to-end security, this new paper examines information management risks and offers practical implementation guidance to mitigate them. While there is no one-size-fits-all solution, the paper sets out a comprehensive five-step process:
 
Step 1: Requirement Documentation – Understand the usage patterns of all mobile workers.
Step 2: Technology Selection – Align the right technologies to assure compliance across the infrastructure.
Step 3: Policy Development – Establish obligations, requirements and criteria in a formal policy.
Step 4: Security – Address data security risks with effective administrative controls.
Step 5: Support – Ensure support for end-users with appropriate capabilities and processes.
 
“In collaborating with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner to create this white paper, TELUS hopes to provide Canadian organizations with information and practical approaches that will be helpful in addressing the need for protecting proprietary data whilst at the same time protecting every Canadian employee’s right to privacy,” said Darren Entwistle, TELUS President and CEO. “As the number of Canadians who adopt BYOD steadily increases, we are striving to simultaneously increase awareness of the significant benefits inherent in this movement and encourage all Canadian organizations to manage the corresponding challenges by embracing the Privacy Commissioner’s Privacy by Design principles.”
 
Canadian enterprises outpace their global counterparts in BYOD. Interestingly, fewer than half (33 per cent) of Canadian organizations have mobile device management policies and practices in place to mitigate the many security and privacy risks associated with BYOD. Further, more than half (58 per cent) of Canadian organizations lose sensitive corporate data each year through devices used by employees.

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