A 'Bring Your Own Device' Policy allows your business to take advantage of a variety of BYOD benefits by allowing your employees to use their own smartphones to access company resources. When employees use their own digital devices for work-related tasks, you save the cost of new equipment, maintenance, and device replacement. Employee familiarity can also reduce a new device learning curve and increase job satisfaction. But to gain the most benefits from your BYOD policy, you must also enforce some security to ensure those personal devices do not compromise your business network.
When paired with cloud access, BYOD programs increase employee productivity. From anywhere, employees are able to check emails, view documents, and perform job-related tasks. This was documented by a Dell research study which showed that employees using their own devices worked an average of 86 additional minutes per day outside of the workplace.
BYOD programs can give your company valuable IT flexibility, improve cost savings, and increase workflow. Employee-owned digital devices can be a viable alternative for costly tech equipment as long as you keep security in mind. It's important to hold employee-owned devices to the same security standards as owned devices and on-premises IT infrastructure. Without proper safeguards and monitoring, your BYOD program can increase your security risks.
IT Security is Critical
Your business survival relies upon your IT security strength. Without an in-house IT staff, the compliance responsibilities can be overwhelming to your team. Additinal workload aside, you still must secure all devices with access to company data; meaning that even mobile devices must be monitored with the same degree of watchfulness a company-owned network, desktop, or server. Your security standards and protocols should be comprehensive enough to prevent a cyber-criminal from accessing the private data your company stores.
Such data breaches are generally unintentional yet often unforgiving. Failure to secure your data may cost you old and new customers. It may subject your business to bad publicity and government fines and sanctions. The business costs may be even higher if you are governed by the HIPAA Privacy Rule or other regulatory standards.
Mobile Device Management
Many employees prefer mobile digital devices as their preferred digital tool for both work and play. Unfortunately, some websites may camouflage phishing schemes and other cybersecurity dangers that can put your data at risk. While you can't forbid employees from playing games or visiting social media sites on their own time, if they use those same phones and tablets to conduct your business, you should establish a procedure that allows you to implement data safeguards.
Whether company or employee-owned, all laptops, tablets, and smartphones with access to your IT system should be monitored, managed, and secured. A Mobile Device Management system addresses these needs. A designated administrator can work from a central console to customize security standards and procedures for all mobile devices in your network. You may exercise varying levels of control based on a device's owned or non-owned status.
These customizable controls include:
- Access limitations and controls
- Password policies
- BYOD privacy issues
- Email configuration
- Application authorization
- Security tracking and locking
- Remote data wiping
Employees Want a BYOD Program
BYOD is rapidly becoming a workplace model. While the figures vary, research shows that a growing number of employees prefer to access workplace data using their own personal digital devices. A Dell technology specialist theorized that employees will use mobile "...no matter what you do..." A BYOD white paper published by Travelers Insurance Company explained that employees who access company data on their own devices may engage in risky behaviors such as public WiFi use, sharing their devices, and storing unencrypted data.
It's important to implement security that acknowledges the reality of employee digital independence while minimizing your company's risks. A Mobile Device Management system can provide a framework for managing your mobile IT exposures while providing the security and flexibility critical to BYOD security needs. It can help you to control your exposure without stepping on your employee's personal rights.
Server@Work and Your Mobile Device Management
With BYOD programs on the rise, you are likely considering or have already implemented a Bring Your Own Device program for your business. To get the benefits of BYOD without compromising your company data, you need a Mobile Device Management program and the dedicated administrators from Server@Work. To learn more about how our MDM management can benefit your business, contact us today.