How to Improve Your BYOD Security
BYOD policies have quickly taken over the business world, but what exactly is BYOD — and what does it mean for your business?
What Is BYOD?
BYOD is short for “bring your own device.” It’s a policy that enables employees to bring personal computers and devices into work. More common in customer-oriented workplaces, BYOD policies are quickly spreading across a variety of industries, with some polls suggesting that over a third of worldwide employees use a personal device in their place of work. BYOD practices also introduce several benefits to employers:
- Increased employee productivity, as employees can use more familiar tools.
- Reduced costs by using employee devices instead of company-bought ones.
- Improved mobility, as employees can complete their work wherever they use their device.
- More appeal to younger employees and increased employee retention and satisfaction.
While these benefits are extensive, BYOD practices do introduce several concerns.
Concerns Associated With BYOD
With the benefits of BYOD come several issues pertaining to IT and information security, including:
- Improperly secured personal devices can open up a business to data breaches.
- IT staff challenges including system integrations, added security concerns and other problems.
- Mobility concerns, like the connection of computers to unsecured Wi-Fi networks and public computers, which can open up even a highly secured computer to several security risks.
- Computer and data theft, as employees may leave their computer open to friends, family or even strangers.
These concerns have prompted businesses to improve BYOD security through multiple measures.
10 Ways to Improve BYOD Policies
To improve BYOD policies, many companies are looking for ways to help handle the major concerns with the practice. To help you shape your company’s BYOD policy, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Require employees to use passwords to protect their computer access. While this may seem like an obvious step, many choose to ignore it — and it serves as the first level of protection against computer theft.
- Control connectivity to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth devices so it’s turned off when not in use and implement a policy where employees only connect their devices to trusted networks.
- Control the permissions of computer applications so they can only access as much information as they need to function. Consult an IT or security team to help configure these permissions.
- Keep all operating systems and software up to date. New versions will often include security patches to protect users from new threats. This rule would involve outlawing jailbroken phones, as they are unable to update their operating systems.
- Back up data regularly and implement recovery procedures just in case a device is lost, stolen or broken. Having a location on site to store backups can be a good way of implementing this procedure.
- Enroll all devices in a device locator and remote wipe service so you can find lost devices and remotely wipe stolen devices. This keeps potential breaches to a minimum while enabling employees to recover their equipment.
- Implement a policy never to store financial data on a device. Whether it’s personal information or customer information, this data should be kept confidential and off your computer.
- Avoid free applications, including anti-virus software. Free applications often have reduced security measures, so have your IT or security team review them.
- Implement anti-virus software on all devices, including mobile ones. Many excellent anti-virus software applications are available to protect mobile devices and computers from common threats.
- Use mobile device management software to secure devices. This system allows your IT team to implement uniform security settings across all connected devices, making it easier to make changes.
With this list, you can set up an excellent basic set of BYOD policy guidelines for your business.
Contact CTI to Learn More
Need help with your BYOD policy? Consolidated Technologies, Inc. can help. We have the experience you need to design and implement new solutions to fit your business, no matter how many devices are involved in your network. We’ve helped more than 2,000 companies navigate their own networks and make improvements and we can help you do the same.
Start today by contacting us via our online form.