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.
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.
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. This starts with educating your employees about the importance of security. Whether your BYOD policy is voluntary or mandatory, with an MDM tool you can greatly structure it out to ensure the risks to corporate data are minimized. Someone said it right, with freedom comes responsibility!
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.