Bring your own devices (BYOD) has been a growing movement in businesses in the past few years. According to some sources, 74% of organizations are using or planning on using a BYOD policy.
During the coronavirus pandemic, this stat has raised significantly as people move to their home offices to work. Well-planned BYOD policies can be a major asset to your business, but it’s important to understand the risks, challenges, and processes involved in creating one.
What is a BYOD Policy?
BYOD means that your employees are using personal devices for work purposes. There needs to be a policy in place to protect both your business and your employees while using personal devices. There can be added security risks when employees use devices like phones, as well as increased risk of cybercrime committed against you.
The “policy” portion of BYOD is important, but equally important is staff training to ensure all your employees understand how it works, why it’s important, and what to do in specific situations.
How to Create a BYOD Policy
Make It Readable
Many BYOD policies are extremely lengthy and hard to read. A policy that is too long does nothing except make the person reading want to skip over it. In order to ensure your employees read the policy and fully understand it, you’ll want to stick to the most important points. Try to keep it to less than a few pages, and use a summary at the top that they can reference when they need to.
Protect the Personal Data of Your Employees
With your employees using their personal devices at work, you’ll have to take some extra steps to ensure their privacy and protection. There are many ways you can improve the data security of your business. Your software should never interact with or store personal data and apps on a device. You’ll have to think beyond the apps, too; devices like phones store other kinds of personal data such as locations, which may be a vulnerability.
Decide on Device Requirements
Which devices will you allow your employees to use, and which operating systems will be supported? Some devices are easier to monitor and handle than others. Research devices such as iPhones to find out which ones would be easiest and most secure for employees to use for your business. Also, take into account what your employees already have – chances are, the devices they own are the only ones they have access to.
Outline Acceptable Use of Personal Devices
Under your policy, you’ll need to outline which uses of personal devices are deemed appropriate or inappropriate. What specific activities can be used on their personal devices? Emails only? Emails and daily tasks? The activities you choose could impact your overall network security. Other apps like games and social media on a phone could also be potential risks, so consider these too. Will you be able to restrict employees from using specific apps on their personal devices? Or will there be parameters around when and how they can use devices for personal or business reasons?
Determine Where the Data Will Be Stored
You can choose to store data locally or on the cloud. Each has its own benefits. If you’re using cloud storage, you can leave most of the work up to your providers. If you choose to store the data locally, you can use a mobile application or data management tool in order to segregate work and personal data.
Continuously Monitor the Policy
A BYOD policy does not run itself. You’ll have to monitor to make sure your employees are remaining policy-compliant and staying secure. If you notice problems, it’s important to reach out to the employee and remind them of the policy immediately, as well as the potential risks of what they’re doing. They may also have feedback for you, so pay attention to their comments and questions. A BYOD policy typically needs to be updated regularly.
BYOD Policies & Training from Professionals You Can Trust
Alt Alt-Tech, we are dedicated to ensuring that your business’s data and information stays completely secure. Get in touch with our IT experts to learn more about BYOD policies and how we can help fully protect your business while keeping it running smoothly.