As with most emerging technologies, BYOD (bring your own device) is now something that is accepted among most businesses. BYOD policies benefit both the workers who bring their own personal devices into the workplace and the businesses that allow for it.
- According to Dell, 60 percent of people use their smartphone for work purposes and among those who don’t, 31 percent wish they could.
- Portable devices for work boost productivity by 34 percent by adding nearly an hour of work time and personal time each day, according to Frost & Sullivan.
- Companies that provide smartphones to 20 percent or more of their employees found that those employees reported greater satisfaction and value across the board.
However, in order for BYOD to work securely and efficiently, your organization needs to have a BYOD policy in place before you start letting employees check email and connect to other resources on your network.
What Is a BYOD Policy?
It seems like there is a policy for everything when it comes to technology, so the need for a BYOD policy should come as no surprise.
However, this isn’t something that you should put in place just to check a box and say that you have a policy. There is a real need for a solid BYOD policy, and one that is well-written will address two potential problems.
The first potential issue is the toll the additional devices will take on your network. Not knowing what type of devices employees are using, how many devices are being used across the organization, or what these devices are doing can impact speed and connectivity. For example, if you have individuals on your network with tablets and they decide to stream video throughout the day, this could slow down your network. Knowing who is accessing what and how while also having control over these devices is a key component of a well-thought-out BYOD policy.
A second problem not having a BYOD policy could pose is a lack of security and protection of your intellectual data. Not knowing who is accessing specific files and information could be detrimental to a business. If you aren’t keeping track of this intellectual data, someone could secure it, take it off the network, and proceed to take it elsewhere without you even realizing.
What Needs to Be in a BYOD Policy?
A well-written BYOD policy should take three things into consideration:
- What your employees are using company information and resources for
- The process for someone who is no longer an employee of your organization
- What employees are doing on their devices during work hours
The first portion seems to be easy enough to figure out. However, if you are not aware of what is possible, then your efforts to maximize the benefits could fall short. Start by finding out which company resources are accessible by different types of mobile devices and analyze the best use cases for them. Once you have this information in place, you can determine what is allowed on personal devices and how your employees can best utilize them.
Former employees are a part of doing business. Whether they leave on their own or your company has to terminate their employment, you need to address them in your BYOD policy. If you have an identity and access management solution in place, it can help. If you don’t, you need to manually make sure that access is cut off to any company-related resources and materials are removed from any devices.
Security may be the last point on this list, but it is the most important. Allowing employees to access company resources on their own devices means they may be connecting to random wireless networks, they could lose their device, a device may be stolen, or they may sell or trade in a device without properly wiping it clean. The security portion of your BYOD policy is also the toughest to write because you have to know the threat landscape that personal devices bring into your organization and how to address them.
Get Help with Your BYOD Policy
For many businesses, writing policies is a painful task. However, there are ways to get help with your BYOD policy and any other technology-related policies and processes your business has.
For example, you could consider seeking the help of a third-party managed services provider (MSP). A reputable, trusted MSP will have a team of experienced, highly trained professionals on hand to assist you with your BYOD policy. The right MSP will not only help write your BYOD policy but also help you implement the policy and ensure that it has the desired effect.
The risks that you could possibly face with no BYOD policy in place can easily be taken care of with a properly planned and thought-out solution. There are many contributing factors and guidelines that need to be accounted for, and with our expertise, the engineers at Rutter can help provide you with the best-fit solution for your environment. Contact us today to see how.