Your business may be taking part in the BYOD revolution, but are you taking steps to keep things secure?
Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is becoming more of an industry standard – and it’s no surprise. Companies can now enjoy the productivity benefits of a flexible mobile workforce, without the cost of having to purchase the devices that each of their employees prefer. For smaller organisations and those looking to tap into the remote working market, it’s a no-brainer.
The New Way to Work
BYOD first started appearing in workplaces during 2004, but has recently exploded in popularity parallel to the remote working and start-up culture that is currently gripping the business world. Of course, it comes with inherent risks – such as devices being unmanaged, virus protection going without updates, and careless owners putting devices at risk every single day once they’ve left the office.
Thankfully, as businesses have grown accustomed to the idea of employees bringing their own devices into the workplace, innovation around security has also been growing in the background, allowing users and IT departments to rest easy knowing that their privacy and sensitive data is secure – and all-important trust has been cultivated between employees and employers.
Interested in making BYOD a possibility in your organisation? Here are a few ways to lay strong foundations:
Manage Those Devices
One important task for IT admins is ensuring that managed devices are providing the data that users need to do their work, while protecting that data from risk. Microsoft Intune gives you insights into the devices you manage and lets you perform remote tasks on those devices to ensure that users have the correct resources to perform tasks wherever they are.
Keep Protection up to Date
It is important to maintain the security of your IT infrastructure and prevent data loss, both on-premises and remote. The key to this is securing the device itself – and going one step further by protecting your company data on it first and foremost. As employees may not always remember to update security protection on their device, you need to ensure that an auto-update function is present. In this arena, Lookout reigns, working to support organisations’ mobile security efforts.
Lay Down Ground Rules
Crafting a BYOD policy for employees is an absolute essential to ensure that you, your IT department, and your employees are all referring to the same rulebook and keeping to the company code. Define acceptable use, security risks, what support to expect, what you need from employees, and even which devices can and cannot be part of your BYOD policy – older devices may have lax security and pose too much of a risk, for example. Keeping your employees out of the dark will ensure they use their devices in a risk-free way.
Cultivate a Culture of Trust
Although businesses will maintain that they aren’t concerned with the personal lives of their staff, an employer’s IT dept will most likely be able to track their employees location and be somewhat aware of their online activity. Protecting your data environment while also making sure that employees maintain their privacy rights can feel like walking a tightrope.
While there are legal safeguards in place to keep employers out of their staff’s personal affairs, it’s important to reassure your employees that your company is to be trusted and will not look over or surrender their personal information. Declaring this openly as part of your BYOD policy is a good start for this. By the same token, their honesty and integrity must be assured, so that both parties benefit in the long-run.
Despite its many benefits, the BYOD movement brings with it some anxiety for employers – especially when it comes to security. Just know that that doesn’t have to be the case. With the right preparation, useful tools, and all-important trust, any organisation can adopt BYOD confidently. Think of the above as a jumping off point: all it takes to benefit from BYOD is a leap of faith.
If you want to know more about how you can make BYOD a secure possibility in your organisation, feel free to get in touch with our team.