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BYOD Security and Management

by | Nov 11, 2020 | Best Practices, Common Questions

Has your company recently switched to a ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD) policy? Do you need to update your BYOD security? There are many benefits associated with allowing employees to use their own devices yet the biggest risk remains information security.

We encourage companies to own all the devices they want their employees to use, but we know that is easier said than done. However, with the proper endpoint security solution in place, you can mitigate the risk of data breaches while still benefiting from your new BYOD policy as a whole. 

We’re going to take a deeper look at the advantages and risks of BYOD as well as give some insight into the security measures you should consider and how to develop a BYOD security policy. Keep reading for more information. 

What Are the Advantages of BYOD?

We understand if you’re stalling about making the decision to switch to a BYOD policy for fear of the risks outweighing the rewards. A company’s sensitive data and digital assets can be considered an invaluable resource and no decision-maker wants to put those at risk

With this said, there are considerable advantages to switching to this type of policy:

Increased Cost Savings: A BYOD policy can effectively cut costs across the board by reducing the number of corporate service plans, eliminating the need to purchase and upgrade mobile devices, and giving employees the ability to work remotely. 

Offering employees a stipend for the monthly cost of their cellular services and reimbursement for the purchase or upgrade of their own mobile devices is almost always less expensive than corporate service plans and providing this technology. Additionally, your organization will have fewer costs associated with repairing or replacing broken phones, tablets, and laptops. 

BYOD policy also gives your entire staff more flexibility in how and where they work. The ability to work remotely is often considered a huge perk for employees but also can mean that you reduce the need for office space and maintenance.

Increased Employee Productivity: Employees can customize their own mobile devices and already understand how their mobile operating systems work. Both of these factors help to get tasks done quickly and increase productivity. 

Because employees can work remotely at the times they feel most productive, there is a greater possibility of them putting in extra hours while also increasing the quality of those hours worked. 

Less Pressure on Your IT Support Staff: It’s only natural for people to care more for their own belongings than for someone else’s. Because of this, personal devices typically won’t need to be replaced as often which means employees become and stay familiar with how their mobile operating systems work. This can lead to fewer support tickets and service calls. 

You’ll also minimize the need to schedule company-wide updates – this task will be left to the end-user. Software updates are a huge burden on your IT staff and often can take hours or days of work.

Staff Happiness: BYOD policy gives your staff the chance to choose their own personal device as well as when to use it. Your employees can perform personal tasks while at work and work tasks while at home. Both of these choices result in a happier (and more productive) staff.

Top Risks of Having a BYOD Policy

As with any policy that offers great advantages, BYOD does come with risks. Most of the risks related to BYOD revolve around device and information security

Personal devices are often misplaced or stolen. If not properly secured, the information stored on these devices can be accessed by others and shared with your competition or for financial gain.

Employees will be using their mobile devices to connect to wireless networks, store and share content, and download apps, all of which can pose a security risk to your company’s sensitive data.

Finally, it is inevitable that employees will, at some point, leave your organization. Most that leave probably won’t have any ill intentions. However, if the separation isn’t mutual, your company can face a risk to data security

Security Measures for Mobile Device Management

Luckily, most of the mentioned security risks are easy to mitigate.

One of the best ways to avoid leaking sensitive data after the loss or theft of a personal device is by having mobile device management in place. Mobile device management will allow your IT staff to remotely wipe company information from any personal device that has been lost, stolen, or is in the possession of a former disgruntled employee. (Please note this must be a part of your formal written BYOD Policy. Your IT team can only operate on a personal device if stated in your policy. More on this below).

You may also choose to use file monitoring software to alert your IT support team to any malware that gains access to employee devices and prompt employees to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) which can ensure secure connections when performing work-related tasks.

Other solutions that can help improve the security of your company’s sensitive data can include the use of lock screens, anti-virus software, single sign-on sessions, enterprise app stores, and location tracking. 

The biggest security measure that you can possibly use is employee education about mobile device security best practices. Keeping your staff updated about the best practices regarding internet connections, file sharing, and downloads is the easiest way to protect your information.  

Creating a BYOD Security Policy

It can be difficult to limit how an employee uses a mobile device and monitoring every activity can be near-impossible. In order to effectively ensure the security of your company’s sensitive data, you’ll need to enact a BYOD security policy that supports your capability to revoke or limit access.

In order to build a security policy that prevents data loss and minimizes the risks of BYOD, you will need to consult with an experienced IT company that is knowledgeable in this field. Mobile device management of company-owned devices is typically easy; monitoring employee-owned devices often requires walking a fine line between staff privacy and data security.

This fine line is one that Spot Migration is completely familiar with and can help you navigate. If you’d like help with your company’s BYOD security and management or to learn more about the different options to decrease the chances of data loss, book a call with us today.

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