Forget BYOD: Bring Your Own Cloud Is a Much Bigger Security Threat

Forget BYOD — Bring Your Own Cloud Is a Much Bigger Security Threat: The fact that BYOD puts networks and sensitive data at risk is an issue. But the danger has more to do with the software running on the devices than the actual hardware. This is exactly why universities should be shifting the conversation from mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, to software. BYOD is a disorganized mess, and before the majority of colleges can even get a handle on it, bring your own cloud BYOC is knocking on the door.

A perfect example is Dropbox. They have become one of the most popular cloud-syncing services in the world. With 175 million users and an impressive 0.29 percent share of global bandwidth, the service has an increasing responsibility to keep users — and the networks they connect to — safe. The bigger Dropbox gets, however, the more of a target it becomes to hackers. As their security liability increases, so does the obligation of IT departments to keep their users safe.

But it’s not just Dropbox. Other products, like Box, Google Drive and Microsoft SkyDrive, offer similar syncing services. Many additional cloud services are accessed on campus everyday, including email, calendars and social media sites. Complicating the issue is the fact that most users sync their files with home computers, tablets and smartphones that connect to other networks.

Where should colleges draw the line?