Bring Your Own Device, or BYOD, is a wonderful alternative to a business investing in high-end workstations. On one hand, it can save your business thousands of dollars by having your employees bring their own devices to the workplace. On the other, it could expose your network to untold risks. How can you strike a balance between the two and help your business prosper?
How Can BYOD Manifest Issues?
Despite the benefits of BYOD, there are considerable drawbacks that need to be mitigated if you want to maintain an adequate control over your network security. Here are just a few of the drawbacks.
Business and Personal Data Shouldn’t Mix
An employee that uses a mobile device is almost certainly going to also use it for personal aspects of their lives. With all this in mind, it’s important to remember that combining personal and business data will only result in a further blurring of the lines, particularly in regard to employees that have access to sensitive company data. You need a policy that will help you eliminate the majority of the risk associated with BYOD.
Your Business Will Be Vulnerable to More Threats
A poor-quality BYOD policy will open your business up to a number of threats that could create considerable issues for your organization in the near future. If an employee isn’t careful, they may find themselves exposing devices to unsecured networks or other vulnerabilities. Malware and viruses are also issues that could take root on your organization’s network if they are allowed to sprout.
Your Infrastructure Will Need Reworking
You’ll need to take into account all of the new devices being brought into your infrastructure, which is likely to add more traffic and could potentially create problems as it grows. You’ll need to take this into account when planning out your infrastructure from a BYOD policy standpoint.
How to Put Policies in Place
BYOD needs to be governed by very strict policies. Your employees should need to opt in to your BYOD policy before being allowed to use their devices for work purposes. Here are a couple we like to recommend:
- Mobile Device Management and Endpoint Protection: This technology allows your business to place a partition between their data and the business’ data, ensuring data privacy for users. If a device is stolen, the business’ data can be safe. Endpoint protection software is also important, as any device accessing your network represents a threat. This software should scan a device and identify if it has been infected.
- Access Control: Not all employees need access to the same data. Role-based access controls can help an employee access data they need based on their job description and work duties. Some solutions even prevent devices that aren’t up-to-date from accessing a network, forcing users to think twice before accessing the network with out-of-date software or hardware.
- Exit Strategies and Safeguards: What happens if the devices used by your business are lost or stolen? Do you have ways to cut off access to them? Can you remotely wipe them? You should be able to. Whether it’s an employee leaving your business for good or a hacker stealing the device, you should have the option of remotely wiping the device to prevent data from falling into the wrong hands.
Emerge can help your business plan for a BYOD policy. To learn more, reach out to us at 859-746-1030.