There are plenty of reasons - including employee satisfaction, productivity benefits, and cost savings, to boot - that many organizations have adopted BYOD (or Bring Your Own Device) policies. Having said that, it is important that you have a few guidelines and other policies firmly established concerning your employees’ secure use of their own devices… policies, such as:
Chances are you know of someone who uses their dog’s name as their password - in fact, you may even be one of those yourself. Pew Research Center speculates that around 28 percent of smartphone users don’t even use a screen lock.
One of the biggest benefits that an IT department brings is the ability to define and enforce policies that protect the business from potential risks - and in the days of near-ubiquitous smartphone use and personal devices having a very real presence in your office, you need to make sure that you are protected from these risks as well.
For instance, if your employees are to use their personal devices for business purposes, the first thing you need to do is have these devices set to lock after a given period of inactivity, requiring some form of authentication before they unlock again - and, should the incorrect authentication verifier be put in so many times, the device should lock down further. The policy you create to allow employees to use their personal devices should enable you to exercise mobile device monitoring and management, with requisite antivirus and other security-centric tools also in play.
Once a personal device is brought onto your network, you will want to provision it for a few reasons. First, doing so will make your devices more secure, and it also helps to ensure that the productivity applications your employees will be using are provisioned correctly. On the topic, your employees need to be granted access to your business’ network - granted, with proper safeguards and security policies in place - rather than a guest network you have set up for them.
Nobody likes to think that a device - business or personal - containing company data should ever turn up missing or be absconded with. However, this is one unfortunate reality that you need to address, along with the possibility (however remote) that a device used the company network to access illegal content. This could leave the company liable as well.
In order to avoid these kinds of concerns, your IT team needs to have a variety of capabilities. These capabilities include the ability to remotely access and track the devices included in your BYOD implementation, monitoring the content accessed by these devices and pushing updates and other software improvements. Furthermore, using these capabilities, IT can completely wipe this data remotely - helpful whether a device went missing under mysterious circumstances, or if an individual leaves your employment with some of your data on their personal devices.
BYOD can be a huge benefit to businesses of all types. Citara Systems can help you implement this kind of policy. To learn more, give us a call at (508) 532-0837.