Top 5 BYOD Policy for Organizations

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    Organizations from the varied industrial sector are embracing Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) or at least contemplating to implement. They are aware of all the advantages and possibilities it brings not only to the employees but also to the overall IT management system. So, if you are ready to embrace BYOD in your work environment, chances are that you have evaluated the challenges and are now contemplating to put in place a robust BYOD policy for your organization that will effectively protect your sensitive business information, keeping in mind employee’s interests.

    BYOD policy concerns and best practices
    BYOD policy concerns and best practices

    Top five BYOD policy for organizations to follow while implementing BYOD:

    1. Asset Security

    For an organization, there is an array of assets that need protection – corporate data and applications, devices (both company and employee-owned), corporate network and staff who manage these assets.

    When your data and apps move around the organization or out of it, they become difficult to manage and protect, and adding personal devices magnifies the problem. Possible asset security issues that can arise are:

    • Data theft, leaks or exposure to unauthorized parties due to connection to rogue open wi-fi or ad-hoc networks, device sharing or device theft
    • Data and app compromise or loss due to malware or device loss

    BYOD Policy Best Practices

    To protect your organizational assets, the BYOD policy should include:

    • Deploying Mobile Device Management tools to monitor malevolent apps or programs, monitor device usage, and remotely wipe the data in case of device loss
    • Block access to blacklisted sites or apps from the corporate network
    • Grant sensitive data access only through trusted networks or VPN
    • Clearly list acceptable use – specific data, systems network, and a specific time when the BYOD devices can access corporate assets
    • Installing firewalls on employee devices to block illegal packets, in case an employee device connects to an unsafe external network
    • Encrypting corporate data on employee device or moving outside the corporate network boundary
    • Strong password policy to access the device
    • Track where, when, and how these devices connect to a network

    2. Employee Privacy

    While you install MDM software for BYOD device management and implement MDM to monitor and control BYOD device usage, it is vital to protect employee privacy too. Employees may be wary of registering their devices to the MDM platform or may feel their personal data is at risk.

    BYOD Policy Best Practices

    To protect employees’ interests and ensure that their personal data is not jeopardized:

    • Clearly, state the amount of access (which covers maximum business needs) needed to the employee’s personal device
    • Receive and document employees’ signed consent for the employer to gain access, review, monitor, and collect legally accessible data from BYOD device
    • Inform about remote wiping of business data in case of device loss
    • Prepare them for contingencies like accidental access or deletion of personal data
    • Use Mobile Application Containerization to separate sensitive information from the personal information

    3. Data Backup

    Most smart devices these days have automatic cloud backup feature. Also, employees use a variety of cloud-based solutions to back up their personal data, which is a good practice. But problems may arise if business data is stored on a third-party cloud platform.

    BYOD Policy Best Practices

    To protect your sensitive organization information from being stored on employee devices or cloud storage:

    • Monitor BYOD devices for any corporate data stored and wipe if required
    • Encrypt business information if it needs to be stored on a personal device
    • Block access to business data from a third-party application, thus avoiding data backup and this can be done using containerization
    • Provide a corporate cloud platform for employees to save organizational information

    ALSO READ: BYOD trends in 2019 and its influence in the next 5 years

    4. Employee Exit

    It is a potentially critical situation when the employee exits the company. As employee devices are the primary work tools, once the employees’ exit, these tools also leave the organization with them.

    BYOD Policy Best Practices

    The business should implement a practical plan to protect confidential data theft or loss, well in time before their exit. This plan could include:

    • Notifying IT team ahead of their exit so that they can remove them from the registered device list
    • Prevent access to systems and documents
    • Wipe corporate data from their device

    5. Compliance

    The most important concern of devising a BYOD policy is ensuring compliance with the specifications. Employees may falter in following the rules, skip some steps, or simply forget the policy, which can pose serious risks.

    BYOD Policy Best Practices

    To ensure company-wide compliance with your BYOD policy:

    • Provide a BYOD Acceptable Use Policy that specifies how employees can use their own devices to access and process corporate data
    • Employee policy training which covers rules, protection mechanisms like passwords, two-factor authentication, avoid accessing open networks, blacklisted sites, etc
    • Enter a signed contract or pact with them which clearly states the policy and repercussions in case of non-compliance
    • Allow only the registered BYOD devices to access company data or apps
    • Conduct surprise audits
    • Apprise employees in case of updates in policy
    • Install security software like anti-virus, malware protection tools, endpoint monitoring agents on BYOD devices

    While accepting personal devices for work purpose cannot be avoided, comprehensive, clear, and thorough BYOD policy must be put in place to protect your business. It should be accompanied by employee training on the benefits and risks of BYOD and ensuring that all employees follow the policy.

    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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