The bring your own device (BYOD) culture in business has become popular with the expansion and adoption of technology. Many businesses are jumping to the trend that comes with benefits like reduced costs, increased productivity, and higher employee satisfaction, etc. Research has shown that employees who are allowed to use personal devices in transacting the company’s business at the workplace or remotely will tend to record improved productivity.
On the flip side, taking the BYOD route as a small business can be patchy. Remember, there is that daunting task to select the right tools and ensure that your company’s data is always secure. Now, this quick guide covers the tips to help you implement BYOD policy for your business.
Implement security policies for all devices
It would be best if you put in place stringent security measures before allowing access to your company resources by the employees using personal devices. For example, your employees might resist complicated and strong passwords as they may not be very convenient. However, unsecured devices might expose your company’s sensitive data to malicious attacks. Therefore, you should put in place a BYOD policy that includes the following security guidelines:
- The minimum required security controls for devices, such as data encryption and password requirements
- Strong passwords which contain both letters and numbers and are hard to crack
- The location where data from BYOD will be stored, locally and in the cloud for example
- Enforcement of inactivity timeout controls so that the devices can lock automatically after being idle for a certain amount of time.
- Require that your employees install security measures on their devices
- In case the devices are lost or stolen, or when an employee terminates their employment, your IT team should be able to wipe out your company data from the devices.
After creating the policy, ensure that you educate your employees before inculcating the guidelines.
Use a mobile device management software
A good mobile device management (MDM) software will let you monitor, manage, and configure all the BYOD devices being used by your workforce from a central location. It makes it easy for your IT team to implement the necessary security settings and the software configurations on any device that connects to your company’s network. The mobile device management software gives your IT team the power to implement the following measures:
- Creating backups at the desired frequency
- Scan devices and block the ones that are suspicious from accessing your network
- Updating anti-malware applications whenever it is required
- Enforcing security policies set by your company
- Containing any threats from accessing your company’s network. It will also minimize the damage quickly in case a data breach occurs
Determine the scope of acceptable devices
It is crucial from the beginning to come up with a list of personal devices that your employees can use for work. For example, you can determine the types of Android or specific iPhones models that will be used. However, you need to keep in mind the devices that your employees already own to avoid creating counterproductive policies. It is also smart to consider the type of devices that you can effectively monitor with your company’s BYOD management system. This will ensure that you keep your data secure while increasing the working conditions and flexibility for your employees.
Separate business and personal data
You cannot afford to fumble here, as you would expose your company’s data to a possible breach, which might emerge costly. To achieve this, you need to put into place a multifaceted BYOD approach for your business. You can do so by:
- Adopting the right technology: Use approaches like two-factor authentication to protect your data.
- Train your employees: Make a point of organizing refresher courses on cybersecurity to keep your team informed on the best ways of maintaining the business data secure. Ensure to make it clear that there are risks of losing critical information, and the team has a role to play to avoid that from happening.
Simplify the Sign-Up process
To increase the efficiency and ease of work, consider adopting a BYOD program that is easy to use. There is no point in requiring your employees to fill out a paper form or put them through multiple rounds of approvals. They should be able to sign up and work without much of a hassle.
In a nutshell
A solid BYOD policy can impact positively on your small business. It can increase the work flexibility for your employees, thus scaling up productivity whilst cutting on your business costs. The problem, though, is the bottlenecks, particularly security threats that come with the trend. That’s why, as a business, you need to understand the steps to take to craft policies that will ensure you implement BYOD the right way.