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Is a BYOD ban the best way to avoid cyber-attacks?

Following the news that GCHQ advised firms to consider stripping staff of smartphones to avoid cyber-attacks, George Anderson, Director at Webroot (opens in new tab), offered his thoughts:

“The high-profile breaches that have taken place over the past few months highlight the different methods attackers can use to gain access to a network. Although employees can be seen as the weakest link in the security chain, they are also the most important asset to a company and their privacy should be protected.

"Whilst some of the advice, such as only using trusted networks is reasonable, businesses should think twice before banning all devices from the company network.

"The benefits of bring your own device (BYOD) have long been realised by companies and banning all devices would take away many of these benefits to both the employer and employee.

“Instead of imposing a blanket ban on using devices for work purposes, employers should consider the importance of communication and education between the firm and employees. There should be a mutual level of respect and responsibility between both parties.

"Most disconnects over the use of personal technology to access corporate data can be solved by better communication between both parties over their security, data and privacy concerns, according to BYOD research (opens in new tab).

“Employees should understand that it is their responsibility to keep the IP of the organisation secure, why this is important, and how they can do this.

"Meanwhile, employers should understand that there is a level of personal privacy that should also be respected”.