Personal cloud services have very much penetrated in the mainstream market, and we can even name a couple of services, without using Google Search Engine. The problem however does not lie in their number, but in the availability and usage. Personal cloud services are doing a great job by offering enough space, backup and 24/7 availability, but these services are as much of a problem for BYOD amateurs as they help them. ‘Bring Your Own Cloud’ (BYOC) is a real problem for enterprises looking for BYOD programs.
Personal cloud services provide an opportunity to departments and employees to save confidential data, outside companies’ firewall that is beyond IT control, implying it is a direct threat to corporate security.
Short and (not so) Easy
BYOC is great for users, but drives the company’s IT people, crazy. You cannot just block them right away as BYOCs are available online. Dropbox is the most popular one that can be accessed conveniently. And it is next to impossible to stop anyone from retrieving Dropbox.
Some widely-known personal cloud services are:
- Google Drive
Usually, these services are free to use for a certain limit (from 2 to 5 GB). This storage limit is enough for personal use, but employees end up saving the company’s document. Though the space is not sufficient, it is good enough to handle all the data of an individual.
Security fissures are not the only threat posed by personal cloud. Services like Dropbox or UbuntuOne make copies of saved data on some unprotected devices like your PC.
For instance, if you copy a file on Dropbox, it sends that copy to all connected devices. So when the company’s private material is uploaded, it automatically replicates on your PC, phone or other connected devices.
Now you Know the Problem
Your phone can be secure or your laptop too, but imagine the security level of your home computer with a free anti-virus program. How hard it would be for anyone to breach your computer and access information.
And until now, you were thinking your employer was just being unreasonable by setting strict rules against personal cloud services. Well, that is not true. It turned out that saving important and confidential files on personal clouds could land you into a huge trouble, which would in turn impact the company on the whole. So your employer is saving you from an uninvited danger by limiting your personal cloud usage.
Solution is a bit Tricky Here
You cannot be a teacher of your employees and ask them to just stop using it. It’s hell difficult for anyone to restrict them. Companies can write policies or ban a few IPs, but the employees are smart enough to get away with that and find a proxy. Users are more of a threat than any virus or spyware in this case. They like to take challenges and do what they are not allowed to do.
A practical solution is not only to make a strict policy, but to implement it religiously. BYOD can be your support, make it easily available to employees so they start relying on it, only.