The bring your own device (BYOD) phenomenon continues to rise in the workplace. As discussed in our previous articles, there are a number of benefits and risks that BYOD brings. For it to be successful, you should be able to handle the challenges that come with it and balance employee freedom and data security.
A well-defined BYOD policy will govern how the devices can be used and will ensure maximum security for your organization. However, how do you ensure that everyone from employees to managers and IT admins will comply with this policy?
One way is to ensure compliance. For the IT department, there’s more pressure to make sure of this. Failure to do so can lead to malware outbreaks, noncompliance penalty fees, and corporate exposure in the wake of device loss or theft. Let’s a closer look at what is takes to be compliant:
Start with policy and education
Any BYOD policy initiative must begin with a foundation that articulates the bounds of personal device usage within the organization. Your BYOD security policy should make sure that personal device use for both end users and IT professionals are protected accordingly. Ask the following questions:
- Who is authorized to access company data from personal devices?
- Under what conditions may personal devices connect to your company network?
- Does your organization require explicit approval for each BYOD use?
- Are there security controls in place for BYOD endpoints?
- Will IT admins be allowed to wipe clean an entire device to prevent data leaks?
Separate company and personal data
Balancing the protection of business information without adversely affecting personal use of devices is one of the greatest challenges of BYOD. You must approach the compartmentalization issue carefully. After all, you might have some employees who won’t react well to corporate security requirements that could restrict personal use of something they purchased with their own funds.
Solutions like mobile device management (MDM) software can conduct policy-based management of mobile devices. Additionally, MDM enforces business security requirements, including encryption, passcodes to access the device, and remote wiping of lost and stolen gadgets. Make sure to handle the installation and configuration of MDM with an approach that meets your business’s compliance obligations and also fits within the constraints of your office culture.
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Whatever approach you choose for handling BYOD issues, you should regularly audit your IT operations against stipulated BYOD security guidelines. Businesses that prohibit BYOD entirely should take the necessary measures to verify that only corporate-owned devices connect to enterprise networks. Those that allow BYOD should verify that BYOD users operate within the bounds of business computing policies and external compliance regulations.
BYOD is here to stay and your employees will continue to request the use of personal mobile devices in the workplace. As such, you’ll need to provide adequate, modern, company-managed solutions. Consider agentless solutions that can deliver data protection, identity management, comprehensive visibility, and advanced threat protection. Having these technologies will help you and your employees reap the benefits of BYOD, secure their data, respect user privacy, and ensure policy compliance.
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