Deciding on, and then implementing a BYOD program can be a huge challenge. It may even seem like an intimidating and impossible task. While most businesses are attracted to the cost-efficiency of a BYOD program, there are certain things that must be done to ensure the plan is successful.
BYOD (which you likely already know stands for “Bring Your Own Device“) is something that is becoming more and more common in businesses today. This type of program allows your employees to bring their own, personal mobile devices and use them for work-related purposes. This is in lieu of the company providing them with laptops, smartphones or other mobile devices.
If you are thinking about implementing the BYOD program, but you don’t know where to begin, here’s our short list of what you’ll need.
Establish a security policy for all devices
Before you allow your employees the freedom to access your company’s resources from any device, you need to ensure there are stringent security guidelines in place.
Most users are resistant to complex passwords and lock screens simply because they are inconvenient. However, an unsecured device can leave your business’s sensitive data prone to an attack.
To ensure everything is safeguarded, you need to make sure that your BYOD includes the following security guidelines:
- Set the minimum required security controls for all devices, which includes password requirements and data encryption.
- Determine where the data from a BYOD device is going to be stored.
- Determine if your IT department can remotely wipe devices if it is lost, an employee is terminated, there’s a policy breach, disaster situation, or some other issue.
- Are your employees going to be required to install a mobile device security application, or are workers going to have the ability to choose their own security solutions that meet set criteria?
The strictness of the guidelines that you set will depend on your industry.
Put protections in place against any legal liability
When you introduce devices owned by your employee in your workplace, then it may lead to legal issues. As a result, you need to implement policies that help you avoid problems. Some things to consider include:
- Rights: What legal rights do your employees and the organization have? Know what these are to create the proper privacy requirements and regulatory requirements.
- Responsibilities: Do employees who are using a device with a corporate app or data have the responsibility of providing protection for the device? What happens if no steps are taken to protect it?
- Liability: Will the company be held liable if an action on its part results in private data loss? What liability lies with the employee?
- Privacy: What are the steps your business is going to take to protect employee privacy?
Define specific and concise user guidelines
By creating acceptable use policies, it’s possible to prevent malware and viruses from getting into the system via unsecured apps or websites.
It’s a good idea to talk about the following questions with your IT team or your managed service provider to set up your acceptable use policies. These questions include:
- What applications can an employee access from their personal devices? Make sure that you clearly outline the types of apps that are allowed and the ones that aren’t allowed.
- What websites need to be banned while the employee’s device is connected to the business network?
- What type of company-owned assets will employees be allowed to access on their personal electronic devices? Contracts, documents, calendars, emails, etc.?
- What type of policies are going to be implemented to keep employees from transmitting or storing illicit materials or from engaging in unrelated activities on their devices?
A tip from companies that have implemented BYOD policies in the past is that if you block the “time wasting” sites such as YouTube and Facebook, it may seem somewhat controlling to workers. As long as employees continue to perform well, there’s no need to implement these types of restrictions.
The best way for you to successfully get your employees excited and on board with your bring your own device program is by working to create a trusting environment. If you implement excessive restrictions, then it may make your workers feel like you are actually infringing on their personal freedoms. Rather than doing this, take the time to let them know about the realities of a BYOD program, and give them the ability and opportunity to use this new freedom responsibly.
Implementing BYOD at your business: now you know
If you are planning to implement a BYOD policy for your business, then using the tips and information here can be extremely beneficial. After all, this type of policy can be extremely beneficial for your company, a well as your employees.
Keep in mind, you may have to tweak and alter your BYOD policy as you move forward. This is fine, just be willing to measure the success of the plans you have made to determine if changes are needed. By doing this, you will be prepared to ensure your employees have the best possible plan in place and that your company and your workers are reaping all the possible benefits that are offered by the bring your own device policy.