Charting your enterprise data for BYOD security

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Huddle, the collaboration platform vendor, has released its survey report, “State of the Enterprise Information Landscape,” which includes some interesting findings around information security and bring-your-own-device (BYOD). The report finds that 73 percent of office workers in the US and 61 percent in the UK are downloading personal software and apps on enterprise-owned tablets. Additionally, 52 percent of US workers (59 percent in the UK) use personal laptops, tablets, and smartphones to store and work on enterprise content.

The numbers in the report testify that enterprises need to focus on their “enterprise information landscapes” as part of their overall BYOD security strategies. Charting that landscape is another tool for locating your corporate data vulnerabilities through consumer file sharing and other cloud apps that open security gaps, thus exposing organizations to data loss.

Enterprise information includes proprietary and competitive information, such as internal business and financial documents, product development documentation, and policies and procedures. The information may reside on the enterprise network, in cloud storage, or in a collaboration platform workspace or document library, in both approved and unapproved locations, and any security issues that you might find need to be remediated. It is no longer enough to centralize corporate documents on an enterprise or cloud collaboration platform.
Enterprise mobility and BYOD in particular raise the security stakes for what was once a largely document-versioning exercise now that access to corporate information has become an anytime/anywhere option for employees.

Enterprise information charting tools

Tools for charting your enterprise information landscape include:

  • User education about corporate document security policies that gives users a chance to share their experiences and best-practices
  • Official feedback channel for mobile users to use when they encounter issues with corporate approved/mandated cloud storage and/or collaboration platforms
  • User logs from corporate approved/mandated cloud storage and/or collaboration platforms
  • Corporate document publishing processes
  • End-point security tools
  • Mobile device management (MDM) monitoring dashboards

Charting an enterprise information landscape is a cross-functional exercise that should include technical writers and other document authors, sales management and the sales team, remote workers who access your network via mobile devices, and internal staff who work with contractors and use mobile devices.

Once you chart your enterprise information landscape, the final deliverable doesn’t have to be a “chart” or even a divisive internal document. Your findings can feed the following:

  • Improved cloud storage and collaboration tools and processes if it’s found that users are working around clunky but corporate mandated tools
  • Revisions to BYOD policies and training
  • Changes to end-point and device security
  • Changes to document management processes and workflow

Charting your enterprise information landscape can be a one-time exercise when your organization goes BYOD, or an annual audit using your in-place security solutions and BYOD user outreach. It’s all about keeping your BYOD and corporate mobile users honest while IT gains better insights into how BYOD users interact with corporate information.

Does your organization chart its enterprise information landscape?

This post was originally posted on The Mobility Hub on February 7, 2014.

Image by user: gerard79

Will Kelly is a technical writer and analyst based in the Washington, DC area. His writing experience also includes writing technology articles for CNET TechRepublic and other sites. Will’s technology interests include collaboration platforms, enterprise mobility, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), project management applications, and big data.

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