Although many employees don’t think anything of bringing in a personal thumb drive or tablet to use at work, it’s important for them to realize the risks involved in doing so. It’s convenient to be able to take work with you when you are on the go, but every connection to an unknown network increases the chance of picking up viruses and malware that can later affect the business network.
For IT organizations to inform users of the dangers, they, too, must be prepared. Our IT Download section offers documentation of best practices for managing the use of portable devices in the workplace. “The Risks of Using Portable Devices” was created by the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team, and it informs IT on the types of devices that may be used to connect to business networks and the risks associated with such devices.
The informative paper gives tips on how to secure these devices, which you can pass along to users. It also gives best practices on how to mitigate issues with user devices, including setting up policies, supporting internal devices, and educating users on safe usage.
Allowing users to access business networks with such devices may mitigate issues with them attempting to connect without the knowledge of the IT organization. According to the document:
Using portable devices comes with both value and risks, but those risks can be mitigated or at least reduced if you follow the best practices outlined in this paper. As existing products evolve and new ones enter the market, you must use them with caution, always considering their security features, possible vulnerabilities, and ways they could be targeted by malicious attackers.