The world of technology is constantly coming up with new ways for people to connect with one another. It is becoming a regular practice for businesses to take advantage of all these mobile devices to increase the mobility and utility of their own operation. This trend is being called a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy. Integrating these personal devices into the workplace offers many possible benefits, but also brings along a laundry list of risks that must be addressed when you develop your own guidelines.
Factors To Consider When Developing Your BYOD Policy
Like any benefit that is related to HR, your BYOD program needs to establish defined rules and make sure that every employee is fully aware of the rules and risks. You will need to find the balance between allowing your business to take full advantage of these new tools while still ensuring security and mitigating any risk to your critical infrastructure. Some of the factors that you should make part of your BYOD guidelines include:
Assess your regulatory or compliance risks.
Depending on the market you work in, there are likely several federal and industry regulatory standards that you must operate under. Before taking advantage of the bring your own technology out there, make sure that your program won’t violate your regulations or risk pushing you out of compliance. Being proactive will help protect you from possible fines, penalties, or even legal action.
Be explicit about what devices are allowed and which ones are not.
Make sure that the language in your policy directly states which devices are supported by the program. There are a multitude of mobile devices out there to consider. One person could have a laptop, desktop PC, multiple phones, and even a tablet. Decide now if your business will support IOS and Android operating systems or any of the lesser-known options.
Be clear about the payment structure.
You and your employees need to know who will be paying for these devices and their data plans. Will your company be covering the bill or be distributing monthly stipends to all employees? There are advantages to either option, but it needs to be defined who owns that device.
Establish which apps will be allowed and which ones will be banned.
There are thousands of different applications available in various app stores with more being released everyday. Some of those apps can be very helpful and others can range from distracting to harmful. Malicious apps are one of the ways that hackers can compromise your cybersecurity. Build app delegation into your program, it will protect your business from questions in the future about which ones are allowed.
Set clear security standards for all allowed devices.
The most significant risk when it comes to mobile devices is cyber attacks that can turn into a data breach. Part of risk management is making sure that you have set strict security standards across the board. Some people don’t prefer to have complex passwords for their mobile devices, but you need to make it part of the rules. Don’t settle for four digit passcodes, use strong alphanumeric passwords and change them routinely.
Develop service policies for any device maintenance.
As with any piece of equipment, you are going to have service or maintenance issues crop up once in a while. Establish who is responsible for servicing these devices now and you’ll avoid headaches later. Employees need to know if they should turn to in-house IT or head to a retail vendor when their device goes down. Other service questions you’ll need an answer for include:
- What level of IT support will be offered for those connecting to your network from personal devices?
- What kind of IT support will there be for broken devices?
- Will you provide loaner devices for employees?
- What if an approved application is causing operation issues?
Think about the long-term.
Technology is always changing and growing. You don’t want to miss out on an opportunity just because you didn’t have a policy that covers a new device. You want your device policy to be flexible for the future and adaptable to the needs of your growing business.
Build in times to revisit your own program.
You should not develop your device policy and just put it away on a shelf. You need to routinely revisit your program to look for ways to improve it. Perhaps something that seemed like a good idea on paper did not work out in the real world. You also don’t want to under a false sense of security with safety measures that are outdated. Make routine efforts to defend personal information, credit card numbers, and your valuable data.
Develop an employee exit strategy.
There are a variety of reasons why an employee might leave your company. Even under the best circumstances, you need to have a plan in place for a clean separation of devices and services. Even an innocent former employee could become a good target for hackers targeting your network. Make sure you have the ability to remotely wipe company devices and to prevent former employees from gaining access to your systems.
To learn more about developing your BYOD policies, reach out to Bizco Technologies. We are experts in mobility solutions and can help your business take advantage of all the opportunities these devices provide.