BYOD (bring your own device) is now a standard at most workplaces. Big, medium, and small businesses allow employees to use their personal devices for work.
When implemented correctly, BYOD has more benefits than risks. Employees feel more comfortable working on familiar devices, and BYOD helps businesses save money on hardware and software costs.
Creating and enforcing a comprehensive BYOD policy is the best way to protect your business before giving your employees access to company data on their laptops, smartphones, and tablets.
1. Establish Security Policies for all Devices: security guidelines should include strong alphanumeric passwords, defining where the data will be stored, enforcing timeout controls to lock the devices after a certain period of inactivity, the ability to remotely wipe company data if the device is lost or employment is terminated.
2. Define Acceptable Use Guidelines: This can help prevent viruses or other malware to infect the business environment. Define what applications employees are permitted to access from their personal devices, which websites should be banned while the device is connected to a corporate network, what are the consequences for employees transmitting illicit materials or engaging in outside business activities on their personal devices.
3. Use a Mobile Device Management (MD) Software: This software allows your IT team to monitor, manage and configure all BYOD devices from a central location. Your IT team will be able to back up intellectual property, perform security scans, keep anti-malware updated, perform updates and patches, enforce security policies.
4. Communicate BYOD Policies to All Parties: Make sure all your staff is well informed of the requirements. Hold regular training seminars, create guides or schedule one-on-one IT training sessions with employees. Training enables employees to use their device securely and informs them of company wide risks of non-compliance. Be sure to have each employee sign an agreement acknowledging they have read and understood the BYOD policy.
5. Set up and Employee Exit Plan: Make a BYOD exit checklist part of your exit interview. The checklist should include disabling company emails, wiping access to company information, changing or disabling the passwords to all company accounts.
BYOD is almost unavoidable at this point. With a secure BYOD policy, your business can enjoy the benefits of this new standard, and mitigate the risks involved.