BYOD policy

3 things you need for secure BYOD

As more individuals incorporate mobile devices into their workspaces, bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies become more prevalent. What hasn’t changed, however, is the need to secure these devices and their data.

With rampant security threats, small businesses can be especially susceptible to cyberattacks, phishing, and other malware. Fortunately, there are measures your company can implement to ensure your information and your customer data are safe from outside sources.

Device security

Individual employees are the most likely to compromise your data, mostly due to carelessness or inexperience. To minimize the threat to your company’s resources, you can institute a policy that provides everyone with simple yet effective security measures. If employees choose to participate in the BYOD program, make it a requirement to follow these guidelines:

  • Use strong passwords and require PIN locks
  • Avoid connecting to public Wi-Fi networks
  • Install company-authorized antivirus and encryption software
  • Back up data and install updates on a regular, predetermined basis

While these seem like common sense measures, without regular reminders your team may neglect or forget some or all of these. Whenever possible, encourage them to utilize automatic updates on all their devices.

Remote data wipe

One situation you have limited control over is lost or stolen devices. This will happen from time to time, so you need a procedure in place to reduce the damage. Be sure employees know that as soon as they become aware that a device is no longer in their possession, they need to notify the appropriate company contact. Once they have confirmed the device is actually missing, then the IT team can help activate a remote wipe to delete all the device data.

This may sound extreme, but it’s better to be safe than risk having company data compromised. Data in the wrong hands can lead to much bigger and more costly issues than a single laptop will cost to replace. Some devices offer security that wipes the data after a predetermined number of wrong password attempts. Be careful with this option, as it could be triggered by a child playing on a parent’s phone.

Inventory management

One thing you can be sure of is that employees will be using multiple devices at any given time. One of the benefits of BYOD is also one of its challenges. How do you keep track of all the phones, tablets, and laptops, along with the inevitable upgrades or trade-ins for new devices?

It’s extremely important that you consider enacting device tracking software to install on all devices coming in and out of the company. In addition to helping you maintain a record of all equipment, it will also help in the event of loss and theft. This should be one of the requirements of allowing employees to integrate any device as part of the BYOD policy.

Conclusion

Introducing a BYOD policy offers many benefits to your organization, including employee satisfaction and cost savings. However, without the proper protection you can easily put your company at risk. Implementing these security measures is a good place to start, but for a more comprehensive plan, be sure to consult with a trusted IT managed service provider.