The proliferation of inexpensive notebook computers and tablets, along with about 80% of US adults owning a smartphone, makes it almost inevitable that people will bring their devices to work. In fact, bring your own device is a shockingly routine event in most companies. Around 86% of all employees use their own devices for work.
There are benefits for companies that allow BYOD. Employees work more productively on their own devices. Unfortunately, BYOD also poses a security nightmare for employers.
So, how do you reap the benefits of BYOD and deal with BYOD security? Keep reading for some tips and strategies.
Before you let all of your employees connect all of their devices to your network, you need some essential protections in place. Security policies set out the ground rules for BYOD.
For example, you can insist that employees enable certain security features, such as lockout screens or more complex passwords. You can also specify that all devices that connect with the network must use specific security software.
As a nod to fairness, you should foot the bill for paid security applications if you require them on employee devices.
Employee knowledge of digital threats will run the gamut from non-existent to expert. Even knowledgable employees can get caught off guard from emerging threats, such as the fake app trend that plagued major app stores in 2018. It's a short step from malware on a smartphone to malware on your network.
Send out periodic BYOD security updates to every employee that alerts them about emerging threats.
Another option for businesses is mobile device management software. MDM software lets you perform a number of critical security tasks, such as setting up basic security features on connected devices.
It can also let you install critical updates or patches, block devices with suspicious software, and even wipe devices reported as lost.
Run a Preliminary Program
Before you roll out a company-wide BYOD program, consider running a preliminary program with just one department. Employees in the sales department, for example, often must visit customers as part of their regular duties. That makes them the ideal test subjects for BYOD policies and management software.
You can work out the kinks in the program so that you achieve a reasonable balance between security and functionality. Solicit a lot of feedback from those employees during the testing phase. If you get the same complaints from the majority of employees in the test group, you'll likely get them from everyone else.
Use that feedback to adjust restrictions.
Parting Thoughts on BYOD Security
Employees won't stop bringing their own devices to work or using them for work. Implementing BYOD security policies is a far better option than ignoring the trend. You'll get happier employees and a safer network.
Envision IT Solutions offers several IT services, such as managed IT services, web design, and VoIP phones. For more information or any question, contact Envision today.