Tips to Support Your Company’s BYOD Security Measures
‘We are no longer in a mobile-first world, we are in a mobile-only world’ (Larry Page, Google CEO).
With the widespread use of social media, increasingly sophisticated mobile technologies and the advent of IoT (the Internet of Things), the unprecedented speed of tech innovation is also raising a number of safety, security and risk-related questions.
In the space where business and mobility meet, implementing a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy, allowing employees of an organization to bring their own computers, smartphones or other mobile devices for work purposes, has become a normalized practice in companies worldwide. While there is often confusion of the finer challenges that the deployment of such policies can entail – especially concerning logistics, data security and privacy – the good news is that using the right resources and information (including thinking about investing in MDM or MAM services), corporations can deploy a solution that will fit both their business needs and security standards.
For those that are wondering, while MDM (Mobile Device Management) normally comes in the form of software solutions that companies can use to lock down, encrypt and control an entire device, in MAM (Mobile Application Management), ‘control’ is only applied to a specific application on a device instead of the entire hardware.
However, while companies naturally establish the ground rules around their own BYOD programmes, making sure that BYOD runs smoothly is not only the responsibility of the implementing organization, it is also in the hands of the employees that will be sharing information, downloading apps, and surfing the net using BYOD devices, on a daily basis. Indeed, their personal data may also be subject to potential security breaches. Below you will find some key tips (brought to our attention in this interesting article from FastCompany) that employees can put into practice when using their home-brought electronic devices:
1. Know Your Company’s Policy: Make sure to interact with your company’s IT department.
2. Guard Against Theft Or Loss: Report losses immediately and check if your IT department offers remotely accessible “wiping” apps.
3. Follow Good Password Advice: Set passwords that can’t be guessed in one or two attempts.
4. Watch Which Wi-Fi You Use: Accessing a network that’s not encrypted can leave you open to hackers and “eavesdroppers”
5. Use Virus Protection: Install device virus and malware protection and run it regularly.
6. Choose Your Apps Wisely: Be careful to purchase apps only through approved app stores.
7. Create Separate Personas: When using consumer sites like Dropbox, it’s critical to create separate accounts.
8. Be Mindful Of Backup: Remember that automatic backup mechanisms on your device can capture company data as well!
Other than advising employees on best practices that they can put into place to ensure the safety of both personal and corporate data, all companies thinking about deploying BYOD (whether they are first-timers or already possess significant mobility experience), can save time and resources by planning ahead and setting up a roadmap towards BYOD implementation. You can refer to a white paper we prepared on this very topic, where we detailed 10 steps businesses should consider before deploying BYOD:
1. Agree on the basic elements of Your BYOD programme and the BYOD modality that will fit your needs.
2. Maximize the technical expertise of your IT team.
3. Draw up Your BYOD policy.
4. Create a policy checklist (i.e. Who is responsible for covering the cost of lost, stolen, or damaged devices? What’s your employee exit strategy?).
5. Make sure policy and key documents align.
6. Set up a pilot group.
7. Consider asking employees to attend a short training session.
8. Communicate internally.
9. Review your strategy periodically.
10. Integrate mobility in your corporate strategy.
To help you embark on your mobility journey, you can download our full white paper on BYOD here: ‘BYOD Made Easy, The Manager’s Handbook to Implementing mobility'