By now, most of us have realized that mobile technology is here to stay. A couple of decades ago owning a mobile phone was quite rare – but things have changed drastically over the past 20 years. In 2013, it was assessed that one in five people owned a smartphone. Even more than that, just one year later statistics showed that more than 1.75 billion people would own a smartphone by the end of the year.
Under these circumstances, you have to make sure you give the BYOD trend the attention it deserves. What are the benefits of allowing your workers to bring their own devices at work? Why is it that you need a Bring Your Own Device Policy? But most of all, how can you create a BYOD policy that is 100% secure?
We have gathered some of the most important tips when it comes to these issues, so read on if you want to find out more.
Following the BYOD Trend and Its Benefits
Allowing your people to bring their laptops, smartphones or tablets to work can be extremely beneficial for your business. First of all, you will have happier workers – and this also increases the chance that they are more productive and more loyal to your company as well.
Furthermore, following the BYOD trend in a rational, well-organized way can also help you reduce the investments you have to make in technology. Even if you do provide your workers with some devices, you will still be able to reduce the costs of investing in technology as well.
Last, but definitely not least, allowing your people to bring their own devices to work also means that you will be able to create a more complex infrastructure. Consequently, this means that you will allow your business to use various forms of outsourcing if necessary.
Why Do You Need to Create a BYOD Policy?
Creating a thorough Bring Your Own Device policy is crucial for your business’ success. The main reason is the fact that that you must keep the information stored in your company network as secure as possible. After all, both your data and your clients’ data should always remain confidential – this is your responsibility as a business owner. As WolfPAC mentions, protecting the information shared with and within your company is crucial for the success of your business.
As shown above, allowing your workers to bring their own devices to work can be very advantageous. But what happens when third parties get their hands on these devices? What happens when important information was stored on them and now it has been released to someone else? Even an employee with absolutely no malevolent intentions could lose his/her smartphone or tablet – and when that happens, you need to be certain that the data stored on it will not reach anyone else.
How to Follow the BYOD Trend in a Risk-Free Way?
It is evident that both taking to the BYOD trend and enforcing a BYOD policy is beneficial to the security of your company. But how exactly can you do this? How do make sure that you get the best out of the BYOD trend and that your company’s data will still be secure? Here are some of the most common risky situations and how to manage them:
Issue #1: Your employees store confidential company information on their personal devices
Limiting just how much your people can store on their personal laptops, smartphones or tablets is one of the first steps in making sure that they will not share confidential data with anyone (intentionally or not).
Issue #2: Your employees don’t use their devices solely for work-related purposes
Since these are their personal devices, it is quite likely that the employees will use them at home too. To avoid the issues that may arise from this, make sure the company-related applications are compartmentalized and encapsulated and that the company information is encrypted as well.
Issue #3: Your employees cannot backup the company information stored on their devices
It is very important that your company applications are automatically synchronized with the company’s database. This way, no data will be lost due to improper session initiations.
Issue #4: Your employees subscribe to a commercial backup service
If you want to avoid having your company data backed up through a commercial service, you should make sure to configure the devices so that the company data is not included in any other types of backups other than those that are made to the company’s database.
Issue #5: Your employees are not concerned with the security of their devices
Studies show that a lot of people do not properly secure their mobile devices. To avoid unpleasant situations that may arise from this, implement rules that clearly show your people how to secure their devices. Don’t forget to mention the fact that they need a strong password to protect their devices and not just a simple 4-digit number (preferably, it should be a complex alphanumerical password).
Issue #6: Your employees own a variety of types of devices
Aside from the large names in the mobile device industry, there are also smaller manufacturers that offer cheaper products too. Unfortunately though, these devices are not always as secure as they should be – and this is why it is very important that you clearly specify what types of devices your workers are allowed to bring to work and what types of devices are not allowed.
Issue #7: Your employees’ devices are not properly serviced
You need to be very clear when it comes to what type of service will be offered for your people’s personal devices. For instance, your BYOD policy should include information about what kind of support your IT representatives will offer, whether or not you will provide your workers with loaner devices when theirs are being serviced, and so on.