How can my business establish a successful BYOD policy?

Q:

How can my business establish a successful BYOD policy?

A:

Companies may want to start thinking about the benefits of improved employee mobility and employee satisfaction when implementing a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy.

The modern workplace is ever-changing. Not all employees work from the same location on a daily basis and the remote workforce may indeed be the new norm.

The first step is to decide whether or not a BYOD policy makes sense to your organization is by evaluating the pros and cons.

Depending on what sector your business operates in there may be significant legal ramifications but organizations of all shapes and sizes need to think deeply about cybersecurity risks.

A well-designed BYOD policy protects the enterprise from various risks while boosting employee productivity and morale. It can create a work-life-device balance minimizing the number of gadgets in your pocket or backpack — a game changer for the avid business traveler.

Here are some key steps as you build and execute your policy:

Define Acceptable Devices

Consider exactly what types of devices you will allow. This could be broken down by device type (such as tablet or desktop) or specific iPhone and Android models.

Be mindful of what employees already own.

Provide Training

Remember to define exactly the level of support IT will provide when things go awry. Setting expectations upfront will set the right behavior without driving IT over the cliff.

Employees need to understand exact boundaries so educate them on what it means to be a great corporate citizen.

Protect the Company

From a corporate perspective, the primary apprehension is security. Many personal devices such as laptops have weak passwords or none at all.

The same goes with mobile phones where many users do not even lock. This carries a huge risk especially in regulated industries, such as healthcare where a HIPAA violation can easily create a six to seven figure fine.

Choose Technology Solutions

There are a lot of great solutions out there to help you manage, monitor, and control BYOD devices without sacrificing user privacy.

Some solutions to think about:

Identity and Access Management (IAM)

In particular look to implement a Zero Trust security architecture which is centered around the belief that no user inside or outside the network is trusted.

Essentially access to any asset requires verification prior to granting access.

Mobile Device Management (MDM)

Essentially creates a virtual partition that separates corporate data from personal. MDM enables remote management, in the event a device is lost or stolen, IT can easily lock or erase the device

Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS)

Secure cloud based virtual desktop that contains approved applications residing on a hardened golden image built by IT. The user just needs a simple browser.

Final Thoughts

Certainly, there is no one size fits all approach: every company is different.

Given the rise of and employee desire for BYOD, employers may be seeking ways to introduce policies and practices safely into a corporate environment.

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Written by Anish Patel
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As Vice President of Emerging Technologies for the nation’s leading third-party technology distributor TBI, Anish Patel focuses on developing IT and telecom solutions to meet the evolving needs of business.

He lends his plethora of knowledge and 20 years of experience to IT professionals via Tech Guidance, offering complimentary tech consultations and IT assessments. You can connect with Anish via LinkedIn.