BYOD Policy Best Practices: The Ultimate Checklist

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    This ultimate checklist of BYOD Policy Best Practices will help enterprises implement BYOD programs effectively and simplify BYOD management.
    BYOD best practices

    The exponential rise in the number of mobile devices, and IoT devices making inroads in the enterprise ecosystem, empowers organizations to formally adopt and accept employee personal devices for corporate use. BYOD is known for its various advantages, viz. employee agility to work from their preferred locations and using their preferred (personal) devices, improved user productivity, crisis management from remote locations, and benefits for corporates due to the reduction in IT infrastructure costs. Following some proven best practices for BYOD, corporates can easily manage and reap long-term benefits from BYOD.

    If your company beginning its new journey to adopt this policy, then this will provide you with good insights! Here we have listed important BYOD Policy Best Practices to help you get started and effectively manage employee personal devices in your organization. Although its benefits are aplenty, BYOD comes with its own set of risks and challenges.

    Implicit Challenges of BYOD

    Security related to employees’ personal devices at work is an important consideration which affects both employees and employers. Other factors that should be considered are diverse devices and OS platforms, legal compliance, and BYOD policies.

    • Data is the new currency today, and unprotected employee-owned devices pose a significant threat to both corporate and personal data. Device loss or theft, connecting to unsecured networks, employee exit, device sharing, and installation of malware or viruses due to rogue apps can result in data loss or leaks, which could have a significant impact on your business.
    • Diverse devices, endpoints, OSs, and platforms make it difficult for the management team to effectively configure, track, and monitor devices and identify non-compliant ones.
    • Legal issues such as device discovery and data preservation in case of litigation and defining clear, logical boundaries between personal and business data are another challenge.
    • Many organizations still don’t have a robust policy in place to mitigate the risks associated.
    • BYOD provides the necessary agility to leverage the full power of mobile devices, but you should consider and manage BYOD risks before embracing employee-owned devices for work.

    What are the Best Practices for implementing a BYOD policy?

    Effective BYOD management enables employees to secure access to corporate resources and data with their personal devices. The enterprise IT team can configure and manage these devices (even remotely) without compromising employee privacy with the help of an MDM solution.

    BYOD best practices checklist to implement a successful Bring Your Own Device program.

    1. Make security your priority

    Regarding device security, users are generally lax in securing their devices. Most users have simple passwords or share their devices or connect them to unsecured networks, making them vulnerable to various attacks.

    As a practice, you should assess all mobile devices used for work, identify vulnerabilities, secure your networks and grant limited access to corporate data based on employee roles.

    2. Train your employees

    Educating your staff is vital to thwart attacks. Conduct training sessions, awareness programs and workshops to train them on how to secure their devices and ways to prevent security incidents inside or outside the organization. For instance, insist on no device sharing, apply strong passwords, and not connect to open and free networks.

    3. Decide on OS version and platform support

    BYOD management becomes more complex when the IT team has to support various devices with different configurations, platforms, and OS versions. It also happens that some devices or features become obsolete, but IT has to support them to ensure the security of each device.
    To make the task a little less tedious, identify the OS version(s), platforms and hardware your organization would support.

    4. Choose your Device Enrollment Program

    For a successful implementation, each device has to register and authenticate itself before connecting to your network. This will allow network administrators to identify unauthorized access into the network. Invest in an effective MDM solution to register, configure, track, and monitor employee devices.

    5. Define a clear and robust BYOD policy

    A clear, consistent, and robust policy is the centrepiece of effective BYOD management. A BYOD policy should cover the following

    • Identify confidential or sensitive content, who can access it and how. List clear guidelines on how sensitive data is being protected and handled. For instance, if and who can print or email this data. Whether or not it will be distributed and how?
    • Define strong security best practices for BYOD with clear rules on strong passwords and password changing policy, encrypting corporate data on employee devices, and enforcing WLAN access to add depth to security should be included as security measures.
    • Follow a proper app whitelisting and blacklisting policy. You have to define what apps are permitted or banned within your organization. You may allow certain apps outside the perimeter of your office but ensure employees have separate personal and work profiles on their devices, and such apps cannot access corporate data.
    • Identify the right people and processes for implementing BYOD best practices. Though each employee owns security for his and company-owned devices, it is important to identify the right people, say, business leaders, managers, IT administrators, etc., who can identify security issues and the right processes to address them. Once you define KPIs for your BYOD program, it will go a long way in ensuring successful implementation.
    • Have an employee exit plan, where your policy should clearly state what happens to corporate data on an employee’s device once he exits the organization. Reserve the right to remote wipe corporate data from the device. Ensure that the employee device is no longer registered with the company network after exit.
    • BYOD is all about giving flexibility to employees, and with so many rules in place, employees may feel stifled using their own devices. The security policies should clearly state how it separates monitoring and tracking of work and personal information and how employee privacy and security are preserved.

    6. Ensure consistency and compliance

    Apply security rules for all employees of your organization irrespective of their position. Explain the policy to all stakeholders and obtain consent to ensure that all employee devices comply with the policy.

    7. Audit and Scrutiny

    Regular checks and audits of security policy implementation on all the devices will give you tremendous insights into security flaws and the scope of improvement of your BYOD program.

    At first, it will seem to be a massive effort to employ these best practices, but once a rigorous security policy and an effective management plan are in place, it will boost employee productivity and improve the overall functioning of your organization. Relying on a powerful and robust MDM solution for BYOD management is the most advised option to make it an overall success amongst employees and the IT team.

    Vandita Grover
    Vandita Grover
    Vandita is a passionate writer and IT enthusiast. By profession, she is a Computer Lecturer at the University of Delhi and has previously worked as a Software Engineer with Aricent Technologies.

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