Most workplaces are in one of two camps. They are either actively managing a BYOD policy or they are struggling to contend with the influx of employee owned devices logging into their networks and threatening the security of their systems. When you initiate a BYOD policy, you legitimize the employee’s devices, but you also gain control over those users and devices, as well as their network access. Here are the reasons why implementing a smart BYOD policy is essential to the security of your network and your data.
Makes Workers Aware of the Issues
The employees who would knowingly and willingly threaten your systems with unsecure devices and vulnerable apps are actually few and far between. Ignorance is a far greater problem. Implementing a company-wide policy gives you the opportunity to make your employees aware of the potential threats and to instruct them on how to keep devices and your network safe in a mobile environment. Once policies are well known, it’s impossible for a worker to plead ignorance when they use an unapproved device or install an unsafe app. Establish policies for which devices and apps are acceptable, as well as what anti-malware needs to be used, how often it needs to be updated, and what the procedures for physically securing the devices should be.
Forces Executives and the IT Department to Examine the Vulnerabilities
The process of working out a sound BYOD policy forces management, IT, legal, and other departments to examine what devices are safe to use, which applications are acceptable, what policies best protect the company, and what technologies you need to support the mobile workers and to keep systems secure. Going through this process helps you thresh out issues like who is responsible for safeguarding which applications, how IT will monitor devices, and what authentication requirements will assure that only authorized users gain access to the network and business data.
A BYOD Policy Gives You a Handle on Shadow IT
Without a BYOD policy, you haven’t established what is okay and what isn’t regarding mobile devices and usage. With a policy in place, you can designate safe versus unsafe mobile activities. For instance, the typical BYOD policy will address mobile device management issues like storing sensitive documents in the public cloud (such as Google Docs or Dropbox), what data can be transmitted via email, what email accounts are acceptable to use for business communications (corporate accounts versus personal accounts like Hotmail or Yahoo Mail), and what applications should be used for specific tasks. This gives IT control over the IT environment and provides a means by which they can control unauthorized access and applications.
Protects the Business Legally
Data breaches are the stuff of corporate nightmares. These are more than annoyances. Data breaches put the business in the crosshairs of federal investigators, pit the company against the public and their customers, and lead to tremendously costly system downtime. A well-designed and smartly-implemented BYOD policy is the key to protecting the business legally, as well as earning the trust of the public and your customer base.
Is your business ready for BYOD and the next generation of mobile device management? Prepare your company and your IT department with this free webinar: How to Predict, Detect and Protect Against Mobile Cyber Attacks.