‘Bring your own device’ or BYOD was one of the biggest buzz phrases of last year. It reached far beyond the IT departments wrestling with the trend and became a talking point for every part of the debate centring on flexible working conditions.
If you are to create a truly mobile workforce, giving employees access to their company documents and emails on personal devices is an unavoidable consequence. The freedom to work using home-sourced technology removes barriers and, according to many reports, increases productivity.
But allowing access to company data on personal devices comes with a security risk. While some companies choose to clamp down on the trend, this isn’t always the best tactic. With adequate risk management, BYOD can work for you and your employees.
Here are five top tips on implementing BYOD
1. Create a tailored BYOD policy
When you are creating a plan, you need to look at your company’s own needs and specifications. How much sensitive information do your employees regularly come in contact with? What are the biggest areas of data risk?
It may be the case that certain departments have restricted access on their personal devices. Any criteria should be clearly outlined leaving no room for argument should someone not understand why they don’t have access to certain things.
2. Communicate the plan with all departments
There is no doubt that having an IT department that fully understands and is capable of implementing your BYOD plan is essential but there are implication for all employees and departments – HR, Legal and Finance departments are equally as important in making your strategy
3. Make sure you have the highest security software on all of the devices
Before staff are allowed to start using their own devices for work purposes, your IT should make sure they are all full of the necessary security applications. Firewalls, encryption and system authentication should all be taken into account.
Anti-malware protection is a must for mobile devices, as is the ability to remote wipe them should they be lost. AVG’s antivirus app for smartphones is free and not only allows you to wipe any device remotely but can also be used to locate the missing device using GPS.
4. Establish a plan for support
How much can your employees rely on the IT team to help with the management of their devices? You need to establish what is possible and what is cost effective.
It might not make sense to have your IT department service all of the devices but do you want to take a chance when it comes to your businesses data? It might be a good idea to limit the devices which are part of your approved BYOD plan.
5. Put in the structures needed to remove access when needed
If someone is leaving the company or has breached the terms of your policy and therefore had their access right removed, you need to be able to block specific users. Being able to manage the devices from the corporate side as well as from the employee side is important.