A BYOD policy is a great way to save company money by allowing employees to use the information-sharing and data-storing devices with which they are already comfortable.
By working on technology that is familiar to each individual, a business can save time and money that might have been spent on training personnel on unfamiliar equipment, as well as avoiding the expense of an extensive IT crew.
But with a variety of technological devices comes a much greater need for strict security measures to keep company information safe and secure.
Here are 5 helpful tips to make a Bring Your Own Device policy safe and effective for any business:
1. Determine Acceptable Devices— There are many different types of computers, tablets, pads, smartphones and other technology with which people are adept, but not all of these devices may be compatible with the needs of a particular business.
When establishing a BYOD policy, make it clear in writing which types of devices will be acceptable for business use, and remember that a modified device can be more susceptible to security breaches, leaving company data at risk for theft.
2. Determine Acceptable Apps— Apps can be a weak spot in any tight security protocol, opening your organization’s system to viruses and malicious software that can destroy the integrity and safety of private information. The best way to avoid this nightmare is to limit the apps employees are allowed to install with a pre-approved list, including special permission required for any apps not on the list (so IT experts can determine their safety).
3. Wiping for Security— To ensure data security within a BYOD business, it is important to establish strict policies for protection from thieves. Elaborate passwords can be challenging to remember, but if someone has attempted to login more than 10 times, chances are, they aren’t just forgetful; they’re not supposed to have access to that data.
Warn employees that after a predetermined number of login attempts, or if a device has been stolen, security tools will be installed that will completely wipe the device to protect the company’s information.
Be firm and make it clear that there will be no exceptions to this rule, but help employees remember to backup personal photos and anything else irreplaceable off-site, so a complete wipe of their device won’t be personally devastating.
4. Use Complex Passwords— When establishing a BYOD policy, make certain employees are prepared to use strong passwords with both numbers and letters, and that they will need to change them often. A company-wide reminder once a week to change passwords for data protection is a smart policy to implement as well.
5. Get BYOD Rules in Writing— If an employee decides to quit their job, it will be crucial for company security to perform a complete wipe of whatever technology they’ve been using for work. To avoid confusion about the rules—or legal issues, should an employee object to having their device cleared of all information—put this regulation clearly in writing and have all employees sign the agreement before allowing a BYOD policy. Remember: It may be their device, but it is your company’s information. As with any other business, once employees leave, they no longer have access to that information.
A Bring Your Own Device policy can boost employee morale, raise comfort levels and save money by negating the need for massive technological purchases. And while not being able to control the collective computer system for your entire business can cause confusion, if the proper safeguards are taken, and the protocol above is followed to keep information safe, a BYOD business policy can be a complete success.
Author Chris Scott is a freelance writer specializing in SQL software. Idera offers leading solutions for server backup, SQL Server software, and SharePoint administration.