The ubiquity of cloud-based computing and similar technologies has made data and work more accessible to employees, even outside the workplace. Combined with the popularity of smartphones and other mobile devices – basic essentials in today’s tech-rich environment – it’s no surprise that bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies have been considered by many companies.
But how should a company mitigate the risk from BYOD policies? By placing more sophisticated IT systems and properly briefing employees on the dangers of unsecured devices, you can effectively close any gaps in your security that can open because of this policy. Aside from improving productivity, you can also save significant time and resources outfitting your employees with everything they need to work in this setup.
3 Ways To Get The Most Benefit From A BYOD Policy
Keep in mind that cybersecurity strategies should always evolve with the times and may not apply to all companies and experiences. Here are some good basics for you to follow in your own company if you haven’t integrated BYOD policies into your organization yet, but feel free to adjust their specifics as needed.
- Involving employees in your security protocols
An excellent way to reduce any chance of problems appearing is to start with the people who the BYOD policy is for: your employees. Since it’s likely that many of them are younger, they can and will bring their personal devices into the workplace. The key here is to make sure that your employees are briefed about the proper protocols with your IT security.
By involving your employees in the actual planning (if possible) and execution of BYOD policy, it’s more likely that they will remain compliant with any regulations you set in place. Being proactive about how your employees use their devices at work is a great way to get their feedback.
Under no circumstances should you spy on your employee’s personal devices. This can lead to them losing their trust in the company and an overall apprehension about the implementation of your BYOD policy, which can lead to its total failure.
- Improving your IT infrastructure
On your end, you should also make improvements to your IT infrastructure to accommodate a BYOD policy. Your employees may use your office connections or the internet to connect with their personal devices. While this is convenient for all, this is also an effective and often-exploited route that attackers use to gain access to your IT systems and data.
Some of the protection strategies you can consider include:
- Next-generation firewalls
- Stricter authentication protocols for device access
- Setting up secure network connections for employees
- Using cloud-based antivirus measures
- Upgrading server hardware and software
- Creating policies about IT access that employees can follow
- Making a recovery plan in case of a potential data breach
Your IT infrastructure should never implement a BYOD policy until you already have a robust IT system.Remember that this kind of policy will always have risks. While you can decrease the likelihood of them happening from the part of your employees, your IT infrastructure will still need additional support to handle the load. And if a data breach does happen, you will need a structure in place to reduce damages.
- Create a protocol for resigned employees
One thing that companies often fail to consider is a former employee’s access to the organization’s network.This is often overlooked since most employees surrender their company devices and are stripped of their login credentials, but BYOD policies can make this process difficult.
Again, remember that it’s usually unreasonable to ask your employee to surrender their smartphone or other personal devices to your IT department – so you’ll need to shore up your protocols for device access for when employees leave. One of the best ways to do this is to develop a checklist of steps to follow to make sure that former staff doesn’t have access to your IT system anymore.
Working closely with your IT and HR department is crucial to make sure that the employee’s network privileges are revoked from your end. It’s your company’s responsibility to make sure that all potential access points from non-authorized devices are closed immediately.
BYOD Policies Are Not Inherently Bad
With so many risks associated with employees bringing their own devices to work, companies may think that the best thing to do is to not implement a BYOD policy altogether. While this may sound like a good idea initially, it’s merely staving off the inevitable.
The key thing to remember here is that employees bringing their own devices to work isn’t bad in itself. In most cases, they’re simply doing this since it’s the most efficient way for them to get work done. By shutting down the opportunities to integrate this tendency into your business operations, you may experience a noticeable drop in productivity.
If nothing else, a BYOD policy can actually save you money long-term since you don’t need to find devices for your employees to use – they will just bring their own. So not only are they working on devices that maximize their productivity, you also save time and money on purchasing equipment. You may still be obliged to issue service units for high-level and privileged users within your company, but it still beats buying devices for everyone in the organization.
Create A Secure Device Policy For Your Organization With Abacus Managed IT Services
BYOD policies may be uncommon a few years ago, but they have increasingly become necessary to improve employee productivity. Instead of discouraging the practice, companies should look into concrete ways to integrate BYOD policies into the workplace without compromising on operational security.
Abacus Managed IT Services can help create robust security policies that can control the use of BYOD devices in your workplace and help your employees and your network stay safe against external threats. Contact us today for more information about our services.