As Gartner predicted a few years back, the adoption of Bring Your Own Device policy has found its rightful place in the corporate structure. More and more people find it easier to use their personal devices for work and the flexibility of connecting to work from any place.
BYOD may have a simple workaround for employees, but it poses an equally strong threat to corporate data protection. While BYOD helps to build an agile workforce by providing employees with the freedom to work using their own tablets and smartphones, it could also expose an organization to management challenges and risks like compromised data, rogue networks and security breaches.
This calls forth a well-structured, sturdy and formally ordained BYOD policy in and outside the office environment. By instituting and documenting a comprehensive BYOD management program, IT departments can easily eliminate or reduce security threats and risks.
The traditional office culture is somewhat behind us. The corporate world has been transitioning towards a remote culture with employees preferring workplace flexibility over working from confined office spaces. Businesses can get the best out of their remotely working employees by allowing them to access corporate tools, resources, and allowing them to operate from their personal devices.
While this is a big step for businesses, considering the ever-increasing cyber threats, enterprises are still willing to adopt the BYOD management approach to experience the plethora of benefits that it promises.
A remote workforce operating with a BYOD approach delivers greater work efficiency as they operate from devices of their choice which are familiar to them. This also means that the remote employees experience lesser device issues and can almost always fix any minor technical glitches that may occur on their personal devices, without causing extended system downtime.
It is critical for enterprises to strike a balance between enabling BYOD and securing their corporate data against accidental breaches. This median can be achieved with a well-structured corporate BYOD policy.
Let’s look at a few critical elements to consider while building a successful and robust BYOD program:
A BYOD management program needs to define the scope of network access that will be given to employees along with a strong onboarding process that simultaneously monitors the data usage. What level of data ownership are you willing to provide? What kind of apps and devices are allowed or not allowed? This needs to be clearly defined to ensure employees also have the required information about the privacy policies and flexibility within the ambit of BYOD. With the help of dedicated login procedures or by using IP address management, the onboarding process can be configured to suit the access levels for employees across different stages.
What if your employees leave? How would you then deal with data at hand? This is an important factor to consider in your BYOD policy. Companies need to track the data before they can understand what data to retain and what data to erase, once the employee leaves. The remote wiping clause then becomes an important aspect of your BYOD policy. In case your data is in the cloud, this can be passed. However, companies must ensure the personal files of employees are not encroached upon in the whole process risking any kind of liabilities. A clear methodology for the exit strategy will be very useful.
As more and more devices connect to your network, securing them against threats and hacks becomes vital. Your Bring Your Own Device management program needs to create seamless security software that can be easily installed on devices, as and when needed with the right antiviruses and firewalls. You don’t want your company data to be compromised simply because the security protocols are not up to the mark. An MDM tool can be of great advantage here as it helps IT to integrate customized network features from a centralized platform.
Draft standard security policies that will help you deal with BYOD challenges more effectively. What kind of security controls will you provide across different platforms? How much of virtual/remote network usage will you provide to employees to work from home? The more policies you have in written the better it is to ensure that the rules are followed with seriousness. Your employees need to be aware in advance how your BYOD policy works, what are the security restrictions and limitations and what happens when one breaks them.
To make your BYOD policy strong and secure, introduce multi-factor authentication that requires more than just the passwords to log in for your corporate data access. Nonetheless, it is imperative to have a strong password policy too! The idea is to create more layers of security so that one can access corporate data with an assurance that it cannot be jeopardized. Here too, a good MDM tool will be of great help to strengthen your BYOD policy by protecting it against malware threats and cyber scams.
Enterprises do not depend on a single type of device with a common operating system (OS). Gone are the days when every employee in the office used a Windows-enabled PC. Enabling your employees to work remotely and use their personal devices for work means allowing them to use the device of their choice. Businesses adopting BYOD environments must consider comprehensive management solutions that help them manage, secure and provision devices of diverse types, be it laptops, tablets or smartphones and various OS types such as Android, iOS, macOS and Windows 10.
No matter how well-structured and comprehensive the corporate BYOD policy is, no system is completely fail-proof. Businesses must understand that external entities are not the only source of data breached reading to loss of sensitive information. Employees working within the organization are also huge contributors to accidental corporate data leakage. This situation is doubly concerning in remote and BYOD work environments.
Organizations must plan sessions to educate their employees about the dos and don’ts of their BYOD usage. Securing devices with strong passcodes, using trusted network connections, preventing the mixing of personal and professional data, keeping the devices or work folders out of the reach of your family, friends and anyone who may surround you in your remote workspace is important.
Company-owned devices are pre-provisioned and well-known to the organization’s IT team. In the rare event of remote employees encountering technical difficulty with their BYO devices, the enterprise IT teams must be able to reach out to the employees instantly to prevent the loss of precious business time. Your IT teams can help fix any BYOD issues quickly with efficient remote troubleshooting. MDM solutions play a vital role in offering remote support in various forms to keep the business operations running.
Also Read: Top 4 BYOD risks and concerns
Rigorous and well-defined policies for BYOD are the need of the hour. With more and more employees switching to remote working on virtual networks, it is imperative that the BYOD policy is equally strong and secure. Scalefusion MDM offers extensive configurations to implement and secure your BYOD environment effortlessly.
Shilpa is a freelance contributor who has a good number of experiences in writing, managing and curating content. An entrepreneur by heart, Shilpa is an avid traveller who enjoys cooking, gardening and reading.