Date of Award

Spring 4-2020

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Computer Science

First Advisor

Dr. Yong Wang

Second Advisor

Dr. Cherie Noteboom

Third Advisor

Dr. Omar El-Gayar

Abstract

As organizations continue allowing employees to use their personal mobile devices to access the organizations’ networks and the corporate data, a phenomenon called ‘Bring Your Own Device’ or BYOD, proper security controls need to be adopted not only to secure the corporate data but also to protect the organizations against possible litigation problems. Until recently, current literature and research have been focused on specific areas or solutions regarding BYOD. The information associated with BYOD security issues in the areas of Management, IT, Users and Mobile Device Solutions is fragmented. This research is based on a need to provide a holistic approach to securing BYOD environments. This dissertation puts forth design science research methods to develop a comprehensive security assessment model, BYOD-Insure, to assess the security posture of an organization’s BYOD environment. BYOD-Insure aims to identify security vulnerabilities in organizations that allow (or are planning to adopt) BYODs. The main questions this research aims to answer are: 1) In order to protect the enterprise and its corporate data, how can an organization identify and mitigate the security risks associated with BYOD? 2) How can a holistic approach to security strengthen the security posture of BYOD environments? BYOD-Insure is composed of 5 modules that, in tandem, use a holistic approach to assess the security posture of the four domains of BYOD environments: assessment of management (BYOD-Insure-Management), assessment of IT (BYOD-Insure-IT), assessment of users’ behavior/security (BYOD-Insure-User), and assessment of the mobile device security adopted by the organization (BYOD-Insure-Mobile). The combined results of the 4 domains provide the overall security posture of the organization (BYOD-Insure-Global). The evaluation process for this model is based on a design science method for artifact evaluation. For BYOD-Insure, this process involves the use of descriptive scenarios to describe different types of BYOD security postures. This entails a detailed description of scenarios that depict low, moderate and high security postures with respect to BYOD. The results, for a particular organization, show the security controls that need to be strengthened, and the safeguards recommended. The BYOD-Insure assessment model helps answer the research questions raised in this study.

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