Android is the world’s most used operating system, with 75% of all tablets and smartphones using Android as their main OS. On the one hand, it’s understandable since Android devices are more affordable than Apple devices for the general population. But the question is, which of the two is safer to use as a government employee?
Whether iOS app developer or Android app development, everyone accesses their email and daily calendar at work and uses various communication channels to stay connected with colleagues. As opposed to the locked BlackBerry devices certain public executives used back in the day, today’s newest ones are a lot more user-friendly. Does this mean they’re also safer?
An overview of BYOD
Integrating one’s personal device into a business or government environment is commonly known as BYOD, or “bring-your-own-device” to work. It emerged out of a need businesses have to save money, not to mention that most government jobs don’t provide employees with such work devices. At a first glimpse, it might seem like an opportunity to save money. But a closer look, it’s actually a security challenge.
Upon hiring, employers don’t have access to an employee’s smartphone data, for example. Nor are they allowed to verify one’s device every day prior to and after arriving to work. And even if they were allowed to do it, it takes time and resources, which companies don’t usually have. Following numerous hacking attempts and data security breaches, it seems that the government is now well aware of the issues of BYOD. And yet, not many have implemented security policies to help mitigate the risks.
The BYOD trend – an ongoing concern for enterprises worldwide
Healthcare, national security, manufacturing, construction, telecommunication, and financial services are some of the world’s most powerful industries. Nearly 95% of companies allow their employees to bring their own devices to work, and even when it is strictly forbidden, 2 out of 3 employees still use at least one personal device at work. To some extent, Apple devices are safer than Microsoft, especially when it comes to their desktop-based correspondent. Unlike Microsoft’s Windows, the security layers Apple provides are superior.
The downside is not many businesses use Apple devices, and the same thing goes for consumers who prefer Android. Regardless of iOS choice, businesses should be more concerned with strengthening security. A first approach would be to enact BYOD policies to capitalize on the benefits of BYOD, such as greater employee satisfaction and increased productivity.
Outlining a BYOD strategy
Whether Android or iOS, employers should first consider framing a security policy. Several elements must be taken into account, such as informing employees what company assets and apps they can and can’t use at work. SSL certificates should also be mandatory, and employees should be informed to steer clear of websites that are not secured. In this case, prior training may be required to teach employees how to make the difference between a secure and an insecure website or webpage.
A standard BYOD policy must also outline what kind of support is offered by the company’s IT department in terms of app installations, network connectivity, and additional guidance in fixing conflicts between the company and personal applications. Information about data and app ownership must also be included, as well as any additional security requirements employees must know about (e.g. security tools that need to be downloaded on a BYOD device).
Last but not least, employees must be provided with continuous education on BYOD security. Data transfers, in particular, must be done in a highly secure environment, and passwords need to be constantly reinforced to make sure no business information is compromised, whether employees use Android or iOS device at work.
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