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Developing A Bring Your Own Device Policy

The amount of smartphone and mobile devices in the world is only getting bigger. These tablets and personal devices have changed the way we all do business, and they offer many advantages you would not get otherwise. The most significant challenge with integrating these devices into the normal work day is the vast variety of devices and all of the necessary security management precautions that exist in the workplace. You need to create a comprehensive bring your own device (BYOD) policy to address these issues before they become problems.

Tips For Creating Your Own BYOD Policy

Like most of the HR-related privileges in businesses across the United States, your policy needs to make sure that all employees understand the guidelines. Making sure the program is clear, concise, and straightforward eliminates confusion and lower the risk of a data breach. The whole point of implementing a policy like this is to make everyone’s job easier and function more efficiently. The rules of your program need to balance that flexibility with the control and security that every business requires.

    • Be Specific About What Devices Are Permitted
      We’ve gone far beyond the time when everyone just had one type of phone or computer. Today, people will have multiple phones, tablets, a laptop, and a desktop PC. There are IOS and Android operating systems to consider and a wide range of lesser-known products. It is crucial that you define exactly what BYOD means for your business and what it doesn’t.  
    • Decide What Apps Will Be Allowed Or Banned
      There are thousands of applications out there and more popping up every day. These mobile apps can be helpful and harmful when not managed well. Make app delegation part of your mobile device management. It will protect you from applications that pose a security or legal risk in the future. There are too many ways for hackers to find paths into your personal data for identity theft already, don’t make it any easier for them by downloading the wrong app.
    • Set A Clear Service Program For All BYOD Devices
      When developing a process like this, it is crucial that you establish the boundaries of the service plan these devices can be on. There are several questions about service plans you need to answer before implementing your new plan. Be clear about the answers to questions like the ones below and make sure employees know when they can go to IT for support and when they have to rely on retailers or vendors.

      • What level of IT support will be offered for those connecting to your network from personal devices?
      • What kind of IT support will there be for broken devices?
      • Will you provide loaner devices for employees?
      • What if an approved application is causing operation issues?
    • Plan For The Long-Term
      Technology is one of the least static fields in the entire world. It is always changing and adapting to our needs and its own advances. You want to be able to alter your plan in the future when new tech becomes available. Also, planning for the future means that you will make fewer adjustments in the long run.   
  • Revisit Your Policy Routinely
    You don’t want to be constantly reviewing your own policies, but it is a good idea to check in from time to time and make sure everything is working well. You don’t want to trust your information security to outdated thinking. Keep that sensitive information safe by reviewing your plan on a routine basis.
    • Take Advantage Of What BYOD Offers
      The whole reason you are deploying a plan like this is because you want to embrace the freedom and flexibility that these devices provide. You want to be safe and protect your data, but you also don’t want to lock down your program so tightly that it cannot move. Work with a managed service provider or your IT department to have the best of both worlds.
  • Don’t Leave Data Locally On A Device
    We have all seen what can happen when a business is not responsible with things like the credit card numbers of millions of customers. Part of your security posture should be making sure that the applications you are using don’t store data locally on a device. You don’t want one lost phone or tablet being the downfall for millions of users. You can also use fail-safe programs to remotely wipe devices.  
    • Protect The Company From Liability
      Make sure that the language in your BYOD policy defends your business from liability across a wide range of situations. You do not want your company exposed to risk from an inappropriate website or driving and texting. A good policy will ban these behaviors and protect the business from the potential negative future impact.  
  • Set Up An Employee Exit Strategy
    There are many reasons why an employee might leave. Whatever the reason, you want it to be a clean break when it comes to your technology. Both sides of the exit should not want any risk of breaches or hackers gaining access through an old device that still had data or login information on it. You cannot just take back someone’s personal android device, but you can remove certain applications, access tokens, or email address access.   

Reach out and contact PCR Business Systems today to learn more about our services and what you need to know about developing your own BYOD policies. We can help you find the balance between superior security and freedom of use.