Real Implications of BYOD: The Mat Honan Story

Aug 2012
9

Real Implications of BYOD: The Mat Honan Story

Posted by Zaid Rasid
 

Mat HonanWired magazine's Mat Honan, a US journalist, recently learned a difficult lesson in backup. His digital life was turned upside down after hackers gained access into his personal accounts and devices. Wired magazine has the full story of how it all went down and you can read it in its entirety here. To make a long story short, Mat lost all of his data including a complete wipe of his smart-phone, his tablet, his laptop and his email. In the end, Mat was able to reveal some security vulnerabilities at Apple and Amazon, who have both changed some of their measures as a result. So what are some of the lessons we can learn from this?

Back Up Your Data

If you read the Wired article in its entirety you will find that Mat's sentiment toward the hackers was forgiving. Instead he felt remorse and guilt over not backing up his data. As a Mac user myself, I would only think that a well known journalist like Mat would have backed up all of his local data to an external hard drive using something like Apple's Time Machine. Unfortunately, he did not take this step and lost the majority of his digital photo collection, including pictures of his daughter growing up. Hindsight is 20/20, but a proactive backup strategy can save a lot of headache and a lot of heartache.

I'm mostly mad at myself. I'm mad as hell for not backing up my data. I'm sad, and shocked, and feel that I am ultimately to blame for that loss. – Mat Honan

Enterprise Take Heed

On multiple occasions, Mat mentions that his personal devices contained business data. In one instance, he even mentions that critical contacts stored on his phone were not targeted by the hackers. This highlights the growing trend of business users incorporating their data on their personal machines and how many businesses are neglecting the backup and recovery of this data from potential hacks or other forms of loss. We saw in this instance how easy it was for a hacker to access Mat's devices and completely wipe all of his data. Had his employer incorporated an enterprise cloud backup and recovery platform, such as Asigra's, with protection of all mobile devices including tablets and smart phones, they could have easily recovered his data, and in a matter of minutes. In these cases, you can't leave it up to your employees to backup their data. Backup needs to be, and certainly can be, more of an "attribute" of the cloud computing experience, and not be left to the whims of end users. This is amplified even more so when end users bring their own devices and corporate data is at risk.

Going Forward

This story is a real world example of how data has been entrusted in the hands of the employee, in this case, our innocent journalist, and how companies like Apple and Amazon are the gatekeepers of our data. But this doesn't have to be the case. Corporations can implement cloud backup solutions with high levels of security (FIPS 140-2 certification) and data encryption (at rest and in-flight), so that employees can bring in their personal devices to work while ensuring that all of their data is in the hands of the owner and not the hacker.

If you're looking for a way to ensure all of your corporate data is protected and easily recoverable, contact us and we'll put you in touch with an Asigra cloud backup service provider who can work with you to design a cloud backup strategy that's right for your enterprise stakeholders which includes your end users, your central IT, and your corporate risk officer and auditors.

Photo: Ariel Zambelich/Wired

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