Check it out what you will find on this article about BYOD policy:
- Make a List of Devices that are Allowed to Access Your System
- Make Feature Specific Inclusions into your BYOD Policy
- Include Remote Wipe in Your Loss of Device/Theft and Exit Sections
- Segregate Your Data Based on Sensitivity
- Ascertain Who Will Provide What Support
- Concluding Thoughts
As the mobile revolution steam-rolls on, getting a fool-proof BYOD policy is the only option left.
Companies are often caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to technology. On the one hand, updated hardware and software both increases productivity and decreases security risks.
But, constantly getting the latest and greatest tech will cause a company to run over-budget really fast, too. New work trends such as work from home and BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) are in many ways a blessing for the modern company. Not only can companies leverage employee devices, but increase productivity across the board by letting them work on tech they are already familiar with.
However, allowing all sorts of device that may or may not have adequate security will give CIOs more than a headache. An iron-clad BYOD policy can help you leverage the trend while avoiding some of the added unpleasantries that come with it.
A well thought-out BYOD policy can help you attract high quality talent by positioning your company as a forward thinking enterprise that keeps on top of emerging work trends. Let’s take a quick look into how you can get a functional BYOD Policy in place….
Make a List of Devices that are Allowed to Access Your System
Just because your organization supports BYOD, doesn’t mean that every device, app and OS being brought in has to be allowed. Oftentimes, what devices are allowed will be dictated by the top management and/or a company’s Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) best practices. EMM is a collection of tools, policies and processes to manage and maintain mobile devices in an organization. While it was originally conceived to control mobile devices that are being used by an organization, it has evolved to include BYOD in its ambit as well.
MDM or Mobile Device Management is a software subset of EMM that installs a client on a mobile device to enforce security protocols within it. Vice President of Gartner Research, Michael Disabato advises that companies should look for MDM solutions that come with their own containers which can separate work and personal data effectively. Approving the devices that are allowed by your MDM vendor is a good place to start. It’s best not to approve all devices and then deal with them on a case by case basis. Disabato also advises that the list of device is best added as an addendum to a company’s BYOD policy as it will need to be updated as new devices hit the market.
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Make Feature Specific Inclusions into your BYOD Policy
Just losing proprietary, sensitive data through stored information isn’t all the danger that you have to deal with here. Mobile devices come with GPS, cameras and audio recorders that can be used to record with or without the user’s permission. Case in point, a video made of an in-development product can be shared online to devalue the company’s efforts and lay waste hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars in development.
Similarly, videos made of meetings or of executives when they were in a bad mood can also threaten a company’s brand equity in the market. Consider disabling phone cameras and microphones in restricted zones. Confiscating mobile devices before letting employees access such places can work, too.
Include Remote Wipe in Your Loss of Device/Theft and Exit Sections
Remote wiping is extremely crucial to making a BYOD policy work as lost devices and theft are far too common today. A report by Kengsinton states that one laptop is lost every 53 seconds and as many as 70 million smartphones are lost every year. While most devices have adequate security features such as passwords, fingerprint sensor, and face recognition, whether or not a user has actually turned them on is another question altogether.
A remote data wipe policy can be useful as a worst-case scenario in case a device is lost. A range of different apps are available to execute a remote data wipe. Google provides remote wiping feature for system administrators, too. But, implementing a remote data wipe policy is easier said than done.
Employees will resist against the idea that a system administrator can access their device anytime and delete data off of it. To encourage buy in, a remote wipe policy can be added to a loss or theft scenario of your BYOD policy. Many users are unaware that they too can remotely wipe their devices should they choose. By educating them on the importance of remote wiping and how it works, you can not only protect your own data, but help defend theirs as well.
Segregate Your Data Based on Sensitivity
The vast majority of attacks into organizations originate from endpoint users. As IT structures of usually implement a hard outer layer with softer inner ones, hackers only need to bypass end user security to breach your network (almost) fully. Once a hacker is inside your system, he/she will attempt to give themselves greater privileges to access more sensitive data, or cause greater damage.
To thwart such attempts, you can implement network segmentation, which is the practice of splitting a network into sub-networks, each with its own level of security. Network segmentation can not only thwart hacking attempts, but can also greatly increase network response time.
Network segmentation can be rule-based or implemented physically. Rule-based network segmentation is ideal in a cloudy world where access lines between different data-sets are often not well-defined. The cloud has indeed become secure enough to host highly classified information on it. Case in point the Pentagon’s JEDI program is attempting to move the US defense department to the cloud.
As many clouds use software defined networking, segmentation works a little differently here. Virtualized internal segmented firewalls (ISWFs) can be implemented between different trust zones, especially those that have different trust levels.
Cloud based apps such as Runrun.it come with their own advanced security measures and are built out-of-the-box for BYOD and remote working. You can easily distribute tasks, track them and communicate with your team without fearing any intrusions.
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Ascertain Who Will Provide What Support
If employees are bringing in their own devices, then is it their or the company’s responsibility to ensure said devices remain functional. Most managers will agree that their organizations needn’t take care of a user’s device. However, since companies will be installing apps to ensure security is met, then they need to take care of them, too. Not to mention, looking after all the time your workers spend trying to get those apps to work properly will also count towards lost productivity.
For instance, if your employees have to install a proprietary app developed by your organization, or a VPN to connect to the company network, then your IT department must maintain them. Your BYOD policy should clearly spell out what apps/features your organization will provide support for and what all the user needs to take care of him/herself.
The latest work trends like BYOx, digital nomadism and remote working will only pick up greater steam from here on out. Companies are therefore have no choice but to set themselves up for it. That being said, there’s no denying that these are uncharted waters and pose many risks. A BYOD policy is a great first step to not only defending against the dangers of a highly democratized work culture, but attracting new hires by showcasing your forward thinkingness as well.
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