Some Easily Missed Dangers of The BYOD Movement

Some Dangers of the BYOD Trend

 

Bring Your Own Device

Bring Your Own Device

 

As the Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) trend takes a stronger hold in today’s business world, it has the potential to expose enterprises to risks not previously addressed. Though basic security measures are often in place for corporate devices, regulating the activities of BYOD employees can pose a bigger challenge. Blurring the line between business and personal, a new perspective may be required to ensure your network security, and that the convenience to your employees does not harm their productivity.

 

Malware

Malware

Malware

Though the threat of malware to a business is nothing new, controlling what the network is exposed to becomes more complicated with BYOD. While your workplace-issued devices are controlled by the security programs you have in place, an individual may not be as careful with their own devices. This means, your employees could unknowingly bring in infected devices, and transfer that infection to devices within your network. Be it a Trojan, ransom-ware, or any other form of infection, malware can slow enterprise systems, corrupt company files, or steal company data.

Unsecured Devices

Most corporations require basic precautions when it comes to protecting their data. Whether it is secured entry ways, or password requirements when logging into computers, there are normally barriers in place to keep the unwelcome out. A person may find restrictions on their personal devices to be inconvenient. They may choose not to password protect their smartphones or laptops as stringently, if they do at all. That means any person can access the content of their devices, which, as a BYOD device, now has information on it that should have remained private to your business.

 

stolen smart devices

stolen smart devices

Lost Devices

The more mobile a device is, the easier it is to lose. Smartphones get left on tables, in cabs, or in hotel rooms. The same goes for laptops, and tablets. A misplaced device could be found by someone who decides to take advantage of the fact they can now access corporate resources. This risk only increases if the user does not have basic security in place to prevent unauthorized access.

Stolen Devices

Breaking into your facility and walking out with a desktop computer tower would present a bit of a challenge. Grabbing a laptop while someone has their back turned is much simpler. The smaller, more portable, a device is, the easier it is to steal. Whether someone chooses to target your business specifically, or if your employee is just an unlucky victim, your corporate data may now be exposed.

 

computer hackers

computer hackers

Hacking

Whether having a person click an insidious link in an email, or accessing their communications through an unsecured Wi-Fi access point, hacking can be a real threat. By forcing their way into a user’s system, at times unbeknownst to the person being hacked, they may gain access to corporate resources and information. They may be able to send messages through your employee’s email, infecting more employees and systems with greater ease than an overtly external attack.

 

slacking off at work

slacking off at work

Personal Business on Company Time

If an employee is using their smartphone for both business and personal reasons, this may result in more personal activities taking place during company time. While reviewing a document before a presentation, they may have trouble ignoring the social network notification that pops up unexpectedly. There could be a distracting link to a video in a personal email, or news that their favorite store is having a flash sale. All of these issues could result in lower productivity, which can negatively impact your business.

How to Address the Risks with your Employees

The most direct way to mitigate these new risks is through proper employee training. Ensuring they know how to spot possible malware attacks can prevent issues later on. Also, informing them on what should be done should an attack occur, can help speed up response time to a potential incident. Further, developing corporate policy on the proper use of BYOD equipment can highlight issues of productivity.

 

Mobile Device Management Software

Mobile Device Management Software

Mobile Device Management Software

In order to exert more control over company data, implementing a Mobile Device Management (MDM) software solution can provide an extra layer of protection. It can give you the ability to separate corporate data from personal on BYOD equipment. Remote wiping capabilities are common, and remote location options may also be available. Encryption of corporate data can be enforced, and other minimum security measures, such as password requirements, can be included.

Through awareness, and proper management, the risks presented by BYOD programs can be limited. Using an MDM can provide additional control over work activities without restricting personal ones. Although no system is foolproof, employee training can help educate the human-factor, and policies can provide functional guidelines, to limit the risks as much as possible.

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Article provided by NECHES FCU, an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer.

Neches FCU is  a texas credit union and has an awesome team of professionals ready to provide services to our members. When their doors open at any of the nine service outlets, our goal of “Ultimate Member Satisfaction” becomes the sole focus for every staff member. They are well-known for a personal, dynamic and fast-paced work environment, providing a memorable service experience, and where clients are known by their name.

Neches Federal Credit Union has approx. $438 Million in assets with over 45,000 members. Neches FCU is recognized by members and the business community as one of the best credit unions in texas and an actively involved partner, helping our Family, Friends and Community!

 

Larger Penalties for Not Having Health Insurance in 2015

Penalties for Not Having Health Insurance Set to Rise in 2015

When Congress passed the Affordable Care Act in 2010, one of the controversial aspects of the new law was its requirement that all Americans register for health insurance. The so-called “Individual Mandate” – designed to encourage young, healthy people into the marketplace to drive down premiums across the board – imposed a fine on those who did not sign up. That fine is set to rise significantly in 2015.

Affordable Care Act

Affordable Care Act

Fines for the Uninsured

2014 was the first year in which individuals faced fines for being uninsured. Administered through the Internal Revenue Service, under the umbrella of the congressional authority to collect taxes, the fines were levied against all those who declared themselves uninsured on their 2014 income taxes. The fines were then taken from those individuals’ tax returns. In 2014, the fine was either a $95 flat rate fee, or 1% of household income above the income tax threshold, whichever was greater. A person may be exempt from the fine if they qualify for one of about 30 exemptions, which are mostly designed to alleviate financial hardship.

 

Penalty

Penalty

Costs Set to Rise in 2015 and Beyond

The penalty for being uninsured is predicted to triple in 2015. Whereas the flat rate fine in 2014 was $95, the 2015 rate will be $325 or 2% of income. The projected average fine in 2016 could be around $1,100. These rising fines could have a significant effect on middle class families, who make too much money to qualify for the flat rate but not enough to fit either the cost of insurance or the income-based fine into their budgets. In theory, as the fines increase, more people will opt into the marketplace rather than pay the fine, and those people will help drive down the price of insurance. At least in the short term, however, insurance costs, as well as the fines for being uninsured, are predicted to rise.

Soaring Costs

Soaring Costs

Exemptions

Of the 30 or so exemptions, most are for financial hardship. Knowing which exemptions exist and which an individual might be eligible for is no easy task. Many people will qualify: H & R Block predicts, based on congressional analysis, that four million people will pay a fine, while 26 million will qualify for an exemption. But will they all be aware they qualify? Despite new applications offered by tax companies to help check for exemptions, it is possible many will pay a fine, even if they could have been exempted. This is only one example of the lack of awareness surrounding the ACA and the fine.

Unaware

Unaware

Awareness or the Lack Thereof

One of the major concerns about the ACA is a general lack of understanding and awareness about some of its most significant aspects. Many people are unaware of the upcoming deadline for signing up for coverage in 2015, February 15th. If people do not sign up for insurance before this date, their policies will not come into effect in time to cover the whole year, and they may possibly face fines. Another problem is that many people are unaware of the possibility of a fine altogether. While they may know something of the Individual Mandate, or that the new health care law is designed to cover as many people as possible, they do not necessarily know the specifics of the fine levied against those who do not sign up. Without the proper information, many Americans could be unknowingly facing the increased 2015 fines.

population

population

ACA Coverage

In April 2014, 13.4% of Americans remained uninsured and in danger of being fined. In households with an income of less than $34,000, nearly one in four lacked coverage. While this is a decline from 17.1% uninsured in 2013, it still represents a significant portion of the American population, all subject to the ACA fine. The average American’s tax return is roughly $3,000, which makes the fine, especially at its new 2015 level, a significant cost. The Health and Human Services predict that nine to 9.9 million Americans will enroll in the ACA marketplace in 2015. Millions more, however, will remain uninsured, and pay a heavy toll.

The Affordable Care Act is intended to offer more insurance coverage to more people and is indeed succeeding; however, it is not without consequence. As the prices of some health insurance plans rise, some individuals and families are priced out of their former plans. As fines for being uninsured surge, Americans could be faced with the choice between a plan they can’t afford and a fine they can’t afford. Only with a full understanding of the ins and outs of the ACA, including important deadlines and possibly penalties, can Americans be sure they are getting the best deal and avoiding costly fines.

Navigate

Navigate

The ACA is not a simple topic to cover when it comes to tax preparation issues. The top of mind issue is who is – and who is NOT – going to be fined for non-compliance with the law.  Aside from this, your tax business’ focus needs to be on sustained growth, and this tax season, time efficiency is key.

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