BYOD and Identity Access Management

identity access management
With the rising trend of the “bring your own device” (BYOD) policies, personal devices have been integrated into the workplace. Due to the highly connected nature of the world we live in today, it is no surprise that businesses are striving to boost employee efficiency through BYOD policies, allowing employees to bring work on the go. However, in today’s fast-changing technology landscape, the adoption of personal devices pose significant risks to digital security. In a BYOD environment, there is a unique set of security concerns for IT teams to deal with. As a result, identity and access management services are essential for organisations to prevent any malicious attacks and adapt to the new threats posed by BYOD policies.

Fortunately, security systems are now moving towards contextual and adaptive user authentication. When evaluating authenticity, security systems take into account contextual information such as IP addresses or GPS locations, to verify users’ identities. It is also through context-aware authentication that security systems are able to detect any abnormal login attempts and prevent attacks of malicious intent. For example, a user trying to gain access to corporate resources from a registered home location will not raise suspicion. On the other hand, if the same device is being used to login from an overseas location that the user rarely travels to, an alert will be sent to the security administrator immediately. Organisations can, therefore, regulate the number of devices per employee by requiring employees to register their devices. In addition, they can track user activity on every personal device as well as protect company data through remote lock and selective wipe settings, in the event that an employee’s personal device is found lost or tampered with.

With the advent of BYOD policies, organisations are starting to build and incorporate mobile applications that are made available to employees. This allows them to work through their personal devices wherever they are. However, this creates complex security concerns especially if the employee’s mobile device falls into someone else’s hands. With context-based security measures, such instances of credential theft being used to get unauthorised access can be prevented and shut down. If the user tries to access a corporate resource that is not relevant to their job scope, their risk rating will be altered accordingly by adaptive authentication processes that are working in the background. By monitoring user behaviour for any signs of deviation, IT security teams can circumvent complex security threats.

With the proliferating numbers of enterprise and consumer applications, single sign-on (SSO) processes have become a must-have in mobile identity management solutions, to alleviate the administrative burdens and IT costs. They also relieve users of the need to remember password and username combinations, enhancing user convenience. With SSO, IT teams can implement access control frameworks that further tighten security.

Identity access management has evolved to tackle new challenges arising due to BYOD. Organisations have no choice but to augment existing systems that will take into consideration other factors such as personal devices, and achieve corporate efficiency without compromising security.