As of April 2019, 39% of companies in the United States have implemented a bring your own device (BYOD) policy for their employees. A BYOD policy allows your workers to connect their personal devices to your company’s resources to assist them with their tasks.
When executed properly, a BYOD policy will improve the overall productivity of your employees. This is because people are generally more comfortable working on devices they are familiar with. Another advantage of BYOD is that it cuts down the costs on additional devices and software. I want to be clear that the best thing to do is to have corporate data on all corporate devices but if this is not reasonable then this is how you protect the stopgap.
But before letting your employees access your organization's sensitive data with their mobile devices, you first have to lay strict ground rules to keep your data safe. To successfully implement a secure BYOD policy, you should implement a strong Mobile Device Management Program (MDM). Below are some helpful tips.
#1. Establish clear security guidelines
Since BYOD raises a lot of security concerns, you have to set clear parameters first:
- Who are allowed to use personal devices
- What type of data your employees can access and where the data from BYOD devices will be stored
- How much authority your IT team or managed IT services provider (MSP) will have in terms of inspecting the devices and altering their configuration
They must also comply with stringent security guidelines such as:
- Using multifactor authentication (MFA) on all personal devices such as laptops, tablets, and smartphones
- Enforcing an inactivity timeout control to lockout idle devices for a set period of time
- Requiring installation of a security software solution on the devices employees will be using
#2. Define rules for acceptable use
To prevent various malware from entering and infecting your company's system, an acceptable use policy must be clearly defined. Talk to your IT team or MSP to discuss the following issues with them.
- Applications that your employees are allowed to access using their personal devices
- Types of apps that are allowed and restricted
- Websites that are banned while a personal device is connected to the corporate network
- The type of company assets employees can access on their devices such as documents, calendars, and email
#3. Use mobile device management (MDM) software
A successful BYOD policy should include the use of MDM software. This will allow your IT team or MSP to closely monitor all BYOD devices and implement security settings from a central location. Using MDM software will also allow your IT team or MSP to: menting Microsoft's EMS product otherwise known as Intune
- Back up your data to the cloud
- Run vulnerability checks and block personal devices with compromising apps from your company's network
- Update anti-malware software solutions
- Perform patches and updates
- Remotely wipe stolen or lost devices
#4. Properly communicate BYOD policies
Your BYOD policy can only be successful if your employees fully understand the requirements. The best way to do this is to provide a training curriculum that will teach your employees how to use their personal devices safely and responsibly, as well as the consequences of noncompliance.
#5. Create an employee exit plan
There will come a time when employees with devices on your company's BYOD platform will leave. Make sure their access to your network is fully removed to prevent security issues. Before an employee leaves, your IT team or MSP should do the following:
- Disable emails
- Wipe the devices used to access your company's data
With more small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) adopting a BYOD policy, ensuring the security of your data should be your top priority. However, a lot of SMBs do not have the proper IT staff to implement and effectively manage a BYOD policy. This is where F1 Solutions comes in. Call us today and we'll make sure your BYOD policy increases employee satisfaction and productivity while protecting your data from breaches and malicious attacks.