How do you decide whether to allow employees that "BYOD" to use Dropbox and other cloud storage services?

pcaulfield

We have a limited BYOD (Bring You Own Device) policy, and are just dipping our toes in the water at this point. One thing a friend who works in a larger company's IT department suggest that we implement immediately is to block cloud storage software services such as Dropbox as a step to prevent data loss. Is this standard procedure for business that allow BYOD, and is it really necessary?

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hughye
Vote Up (21)

 

Easy.  I don't allow it.  Services such as Dropbox make it very simple for employees to install sync client software, save files in Dropbox and access the file from various devices, including smartphones and tablets.  The problem, should you care about data loss AT ALL, is that a third party now has a copy of your data.  If you are wondering about why I yelled "at all", think back to June, when Dropbox had a issue that allowed access to files WITHOUT PASSWORDS (sorry to yell again, but it is an important point).  Just prior to that issue, there was an FTC complaint about data security at Dropbox ( http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2011/05/dropbox-ftc/ ).

 

I'm only using Dropbox as an example because it was mentioned in the original post.  The same concerns exists for me no matter who is the provider.  The only truly safe option is to block cloud storage services if you are concerned about data loss.  This may not be necessary with all companies, because let's face it, not all data is created equal.  You will have to weigh the benefit/risk to determine what is right for your specific business.   

 

jimlynch
Vote Up (19)

I agree with Hughye. It seems to me that the best policy is to not allow it right from the start. Once you do allow it then it becomes harder because you are "taking away" something from the employee that they are used to having. But if the integrity of your data means anything important, I don't see how you can let these services be used by employees.

I think you are asking for trouble if you do and it might come back to bite you eventually.

Vote Up (8)

Cloud storage services are very secure to use in BYOD environment. Over the air services offered by MDM solutions help the employees to safely access the corporate data. DropBox and cloud based services like MDM solutions are thus the best choices that are totally safe and easy to manage.

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