How hackers can take advantage of sloppy BYOD practices

How hackers can take advantage of sloppy BYOD practices

Bring your own device has become something of a regularity for many companies, placing a greater level of importance on keeping up with the demands of an increasingly young and dynamic workforce.

Although such an approach undoubtedly comes with its benefits, it would be a mistake to assume that it is without its problems, as there are a number of issues that have caused headaches for IT various IT professionals across the country.

Many such concerns relate to keeping data secure, with a number of high-profile scandals making underlining the importance of the issue more than ever before.

Yet the most frustrating thing for many IT departments is the fact that many instances involving the compromising of devices and the data stored on them, can be easily avoided.

In a blog post for the Wall Street Journal, Sophos security expert Andrew Deacon said that many hackers target users when they are outside work, when their guard is likely to be down.

For instance, Mr Deacon claims one common tactic for hackers is to replicate a free WiFi hot spot located near offices of a firm they want to target.

Using highly portable hardware, cyber criminals can easily impersonate a free network that users are unlikely to question.

It is therefore vitally important that people using a work device to access the internet are aware of what network they are using, ensuring that it is from a genuine and trustworthy source.

If a user fails to take the proper precautions, there is a very real risk of giving away details of passwords and other pieces of sensitive information.  

It is subsequently vital that users do not use the same password for all of their accounts. Even if a hacker only manages to gain access to a personal account, they will still attempt to use that login information to bag data from elsewhere, including work accounts.

It's not just devices that have many experts worried. According to Mr Deacon the rise of the cloud has left many employees vulnerable, due to many workers being unaware of proper use.

For instance members of staff tend to upload sensitive data and information to a personal cloud service that contains little or no security controls.