The concept of Bring Your Own Device has a large range of benefits for businesses, staff, and your customers. BYOD permits employee to use their personal mobile devices (laptops, tablets, and smartphones) for work, and to access privileged company information and applications. Businesses are embracing the BYOD trend because it may help employees be more productive, it increases employee morale and allows the company to be attractive and flexible to employees.
BYOD may be a trend that is extremely difficult to block. Coupled with the benefits, businesses recognize the need to implement a BYOD policy and security system. Embracing BYOD starts by integrating the personal devise into corporate and organizational computing networks, but opening up the pipeline is only the beginning. Here are several tips to ensure your BYOD roll out reviews all considerations.
- Your wireless network. The network must be mobile device ready and designed for interference lessening, and high-density traffic.
- Security. Using a device for both personal and business can create opportunities for social engineering and the unintentional installation of malicious software. This software could provide both an entry route to a corporate network and access to information stored on the device. Measures can be taken to limit the risk, but not eliminate it. Implement a risk management process to balance the benefits with the associated risk. Also consider how to retrieve confidential or proprietary information from a personal device when an employee leaves their current position.
- Liability. Who is responsible for device replacement or repair when it is being used for business purposes? Clearly outline any expectations in the event of loss or damage, and specify who is fiscally responsible for the expense.
- Administrative infrastructure. BYOD should not add-on tasks to the already busy IT professionals. It should be a self-served solution with minimal IT intervention. Provide a choice of devices/OS offerings/applications that will allow employees to stay connected at work and be most productive. Not all are created equal. Limitations of certain device specifications, OS and applications will ensure only the ones most appropriate to the business goals are authorized.
- Permissions and Policies. Develop a sound usage policy, taking into consideration the security concerns and the permitted uses of personal devices. The policy should explain what information the device can access as well as the technical support an employee can expect to receive. To ensure the policies will be adhered to, involve everyone in the policy development; including IT security staff, system administrators, and employees.
BYOD can provide a great opportunity for a business when it is planned for, offering numerous benefits for both the business and employees. Careful planning in advance can alleviate risks associated with being a BYOD business.