One of the most effective means for a business to shave a few dollars off its budget (and potentially boost employee engagement, for that matter) is to adopt something called a Bring Your Own Device policy—effectively, an agreement that allows their team members to access business-owned documents and files on devices they personally own to get their work done. While these policies have been shown to be very effective, they also need to be carefully considered so they can be adopted appropriately.
Let’s take a few moments to review some practices that are recommended for a secure BYOD implementation.
Determine Acceptable Parameters
Device and OS Requirements
For your productivity to remain intact and for your organizational security to be preserved, the tools your team brings to use need to meet the baselines that you set—otherwise, there is likely to be a shortcoming that leaves an opening. Certain workflows may require a specific operating system to be used, simply for the processes to be compatible. Keeping track of your team’s chosen hardware will help you determine if their devices are eligible to participate.
On the topic, your business workflows should have defined software solutions identified for your team to use so that processes can flow smoothly. Make sure your team knows that they are expected to use these titles for their work processes and that they are expected to have certain protections in place on their mobile devices before they can use them to work.
When using a personal device to access your business’ network, there needs to be some supported expectation that the user will ensure that the device remains functional and secure. This could mean that only authorized dealers or professionals are authorized to perform basic maintenance tasks and that these tasks are carried out promptly.
In terms of protecting your data from the prying eyes of hackers, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more effective method than encrypting it. Considering this, it is important that you encourage/require encryption to be put in place as a part of any BYOD policies you implement.
We know, we know… the importance of secure passwords is a topic that has been covered frontways, backways, and every which way for a long time. However, once people start to follow these guidelines, we’ll stop bringing it up. When it comes to strong passwords, make sure your team is using them on all their devices, and that these devices are set to lock if an incorrect password is repeatedly entered.
Data Handling Guidelines
Where your data is concerned, you need to also establish the proper means for it to be stored and accessed while an employee is using a personal device. Ideally, your BYOD plan will have the means to block any data transfers to an insecure device as well as establish the proper procedures for accessing this data.
Data Removal Circumstances
When an employee’s device has access to your company’s data via a BYOD strategy, it is critical that you retain the means to rescind that access as needed—like if a device is lost or stolen, or if an employee leaves the company. You may also want to include the right to review an employee’s device for company-owned data so that it can be removed if they were to leave so that your data isn’t brought elsewhere or abused.
Lost or Stolen Device Procedures
On the topic, your team needs to have a reporting process to follow should something happen to their device that will help to ensure that mitigating actions can be appropriately taken. Reinforce that these reports need to be promptly submitted to help minimize the potential impact of such occurrences.
Breach of Policy Consequences
Finally, you need to establish how employees will be reprimanded should these policies go unheeded or disregarded. While the loss of BYOD privileges is a common tactic, you should also seriously consider what is acceptable before an employee should be terminated. Once these distinctions have been made, share that information with your team when they opt into your BYOD implementation, so they are aware of the severity of such indiscretions.
A Bring Your Own Device policy is an essential piece of the modern office’s IT considerations and is something that we can help you out within much more detail. Find out what needs to be done by calling (906) 786-0057 today.