With so many costs of running a company, business owners have a lot to consider, especially when it comes to mobile devices and other remote technology. Many are opting to allow their employees to bring their own devices to the workplace in an attempt to save on these costs. While this practice can be an incredible benefit for some organizations, it also presents a considerable risk to those who don’t actively manage potential problems.
First, we want to make one thing very clear. For some businesses, a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy is probably not the magic bullet that you think it might be. Some companies that handle particularly sensitive data that is heavily governed and protected by various policies will find that BYOD is an incredibly risky venture at best.
The benefits of allowing BYOD in the workplace are substantial and, with proper precautions and preparations, can outweigh the risks. Here are just a couple examples of how BYOD can help businesses:
- Lower expenses from IT not needing to purchase company-owned devices
- Employees will use devices that they are comfortable working with
- Fewer devices to manage by the organization
Consider Data Access and User Roles
Just like your in-house network, not all users will require access to the same data. Ensuring that these barriers are in place is even more important when BYOD has been implemented. Employees should only have access to information they need to do their jobs effectively, and nothing more. As we previously mentioned, there is certain data that should absolutely not be accessed by devices that are not on the company network. This data should be in a restricted environment where employee-owned devices cannot access it. In this way, you can still reap the benefits of BYOD without the security risks.
Think About Software and Applications
If employees are accessing company data on their own personal devices, you need to have some standards in place for software solutions and applications on these devices. Some employees might have software or applications that are either not acceptable for the workplace or blatant security risks. You should be able to implement a whitelist and blacklist of applications on employee-owned devices that users must comply with. Remember, this is to preserve the security of your data, so don’t feel too bad about imposing strict guidelines for employees who want to opt into BYOD.
Make Sure You Have a Policy in Place
While a BYOD policy will surely include information from the previous tips, it should encompass much more. Here are some other aspects to keep in mind when designing your BYOD policy:
- Clearly lay out the expectations and rules related to how employees can use their devices for work purposes.
- Have a process in place to protect company data on corporate-owned devices
- Detail a policy regarding lost or stolen devices
- Utilize a mobile device management solution for employees that opt into your BYOD policy
- Train employees on mobile device security
- Ensure an exit strategy for employees who leave your company
BSGtech can help your business implement a BYOD policy that can keep your data and operations safe while out of the office. To learn more about what we can do for you, reach out to us at (866) 546-1004.