BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is a great opportunity and challenge for businesses. With the right approach to identifying BYOD risks and developing effective BYOD policies, you can take advantage of BYOD without adding significant risks. A BYOD security policy is required if the company allows employees to use their computing devices for work, such as smartphones, tablets, and notebooks. Initially, employees at work used only equipment provided by the company. Today, smartphones and tablets are widespread in the consumer market, with almost all employees working on devices connected to the Internet. This means that the employee is more likely to pose security risks to your organization.
Devices at Work vs. Devices for Work
Taking a personal device to work and using it for personal communication is one thing. This practice still carries risks, but the greatest security risks relate to employees using personal devices for their business, whether it’s sending work-related email or physically accessing secure corporate apps and data from their smartphones or tablets. The difference is that in one case, employees are using their personal devices at work; On the other hand, employees use their personal devices to do their jobs. Devices that are brought into the workplace but do not have access to the corporate network are usually no problem. However, due diligence is essential in all cases with a strict and clearly defined BYOD policy and implementation.
BYOD Security Challenges
BYOD security is often a challenge for businesses. This stems from the fact that to be effective, companies must exercise some form of control over smartphones, tablets and laptops that do not belong to the company but are the personal belongings of employees. As BYOD has become more mainstream and awareness of security risks has increased, BYOD security policies are widely accepted and adopted by businesses and their employees. BYOD is more prevalent in the workforce than it was a few years ago. Businesses that adopt BYOD will benefit from reduced hardware and software costs, but at the same time, BYOD places additional responsibilities on IT. IT departments must maintain devices and ensure that practices do not introduce unnecessary vulnerabilities into corporate networks and data.
Of course, in 2020, the world experienced significant disruption resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, which accelerated the work from home culture and, in many cases, made it necessary for employees to access work-related applications from their personal devices. While 95% of organizations allow the use of employee-owned devices in the workplace in some way, two out of three employees use their personal devices at work, regardless of the company’s BYOD policy. That means some employees are using their personal devices to access company networks and applications even if those activities are forbidden. Employers have two options: either embrace BYOD by enacting BYOD policies and security measures to make the practice a safer one or prohibit BYOD entirely and find a way to enforce it. For most companies, it makes sense to embrace the BYOD trend and capitalize on the benefits it offers, such as increased employee productivity and greater employee satisfaction through better work-life balance, while implementing security measures that mitigate the risks involved.
Defining a BYOD Security Policy
Defining a BYOD security policy is a critical step in maintaining company security when employees are bringing their personal devices to the workplace. NCS has the knowledge and experience to help your business define these policies and implement in the workspace. Below is a list of consideration you should consider when creating your BYOD policy.
- Access (what applications and data are permitted from BYOD device)
- Remote Wipe Capabilities (MDM)
- Level of IT Support for BYOD Devices
- BYOD Reimbursement (standard use fee, pay for certain apps, percentage of monthly bill)
- Security Requirements on BYOD Device (MDM)
- Employee Departure
Finally, the risks, responsibilities, and disclaimers must be disclosed in a written BYOD policy. This includes corporate liability for employee personal data if the device needs to be wiped for security reasons and employee liability for loss of sensitive corporate data due to employee negligence or misuse.
The bottom line, like enterprise security, BYOD security requires a multi-pronged approach that addresses potential risks while minimizing the impact on employee privacy and convenience related to personal use. Organizations that adopt these solutions reap the rewards and benefits of BYOD, such as: Increased productivity and employee satisfaction through work-life balance, while effectively mitigating the security risks that once plagued organizations.
Contact our Sales Team at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss BYOD Policies for your business!