TMCnet Feature
June 26, 2020

Does Your Organization Have A Strategic BYOD Policy?

Corporate decision-makers may not realize they are already tasked with developing a proactive BYOD policy. That’s because recent studies indicate upwards of 67 percent of employees are already using their personal devices to send and receive company files or perform tasks.

Although nearly 70 percent of IT leaders point to the positives of Bring-Your-Own-Device practices, not knowing workers are actively leveraging Cloud-based data or accessing digital assets using coffee shop Wi-Fi can be risky. Industry leaders without a highly defined BYOD plan are at a crossroads. You can either nix this already-occurring practice or consider ways to ensure your data enjoys enterprise-level cybersecurity from endpoint devices.

Randy Brinks from RedRock Information Security in Grand Rapids, MI shares insights into why organizations need effective BYOD policies.

Why BYOD May Prove Valuable

Entrepreneurs, CEOs, and other decision-makers are widely aware that vast portions of the workforce shifted to work-from-home positions during the early days of the pandemic. Many CFOs plan to leave remote workers in place to cut back on capital expenses and keep a productivity safety net in place.

But younger workforce generations are not necessarily wedded to desktops in home offices and many have a tendency to blur the live-work lines. Consider how these BYOD statistics could impact your organization.

  • More than 60 percent of Gen Y employees prefer to use personal devices for work
  • Approximately 50 percent of workers 30 years and older use prefer BYOD
  • Upwards of 60 percent use Smartphones for work and another 31 percent want to
  • Mobile devices increase worker productivity by 34 percent
  • Companies that approve BYOD save $350 per employee on average

It’s not difficult to see why consensus support exists for BYOD strategies. The savings and productivity enhancements alone make it worthwhile. Anecdotally, workers also tend to engage in company task completion and communication while off the clock.

But giving team members the thumbs-up to work from anywhere can prove disastrous. Endpoint devices and remote workers have become primary data breach targets. Even if you are unsure about the extent of employees using their own devices, having a BYOD remains of critical importance.

What Do BYOD Policies Include?

Perhaps the primary reason that organizations need a well thought out BYOD strategies concerns security. People routinely misplace and have expensive electronic devices stolen. Should a device fall into the wrong hands, a criminal could access your entire network.

While that may seem like a limited concern, hackers see personal devices as a gateway to a digital treasure trove. In order to minimize the risk of a breach, business leaders would be wise to enlist the help of a cybersecurity consultant to make certain your BYOD policies are secure. These are preferred-use polices.

  • Limits on personal use during scheduled work time
  • Access only approved websites on the device
  • Download and access only approved apps
  • Use only a company-approved browser
  • Define and limit organization resources that can be accessed on a device

Policies with a keen eye on cybersecurity also take logical next steps to harden a device’s inherent defenses. This typically involves having the personal device updated by a managed IT cybersecurity specialist. Automated defenses usually include the following.

  • Enhanced password protection
  • Encrypted data transmission
  • Enterprise-grade firewalls and antivirus software
  • PIN-protected access to the device
  • Two-factor authentication to access company network

A written policy generally includes mandates that employees promptly report lost or stolen devices and outlines ethical conduct guidelines. What employees post online on approved devices during workhours can prove problematic for your organization. Managed IT professionals may also have strategies to separate company data from personal information and usage such as Mobile Device Management software.

If you have yet to complete and thorough BYOD policy, it may be in your best interest to contact a third party managed IT firm with mobile cybersecurity expertise. There have been recent advancements in Mobile Device Management software that can deliver improved oversight, cybersecurity, and productivity.

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