Face it: In today’s workplace, you can’t stop employees from having their own cellphones and tablets. These devices have become ubiquitous, and what’s more, many of us actually use them in our professional lives—whether to send emails or simply keep track of appointments.
And yet, when employees bring their own devices into the workplace—and connect them to the shared network—that can invite some problems, most notably concerns with cybersecurity. A recent Cisco study goes into more detail.
That’s why many IT departments implement a BYOD policy—that is, bring your own device—which lays out some of the ground rules for using personal devices on company bandwidth.
But what goes into an effective policy? What should your IT team know about BYOD at work? Here are a few guidelines to help you put a sound policy into place.
Challenges Faced in a BYOD System
The first thing to do is simply be aware of some of the particular problems and challenges that you’re up against. When it comes to BYOD at work, there are a few particular perils—among them:
Increased Chances of Theft
The simplest issue is the one of employees bringing expensive personal electronics into the workplace, where such devices are all too easily lost or stolen—something that can lead to some HR headaches and potentially some legal liability concerns.
Greater Risk of Malware
There are also the cybersecurity threats we noted above, which stem from the fact that you have users attaching their own personal devices—not vetted by the IT team—to the company network.
Demands of Supporting All Devices
Finally, if you’re going to open things up to where people can bring in any personal device, then the IT team may face some challenges simply in ensuring that there is sufficient support for all device types.
A Successful BYOD Policy
With those threats enumerated, what should a good policy entail? As you consider both corporate and user security, some considerations might include:
Discuss Supported Devices
One thing the IT team can do is to create a list of the different types of devices that are actually permitted on the company network—a good way to lay some ground rules and to safeguard against devices that might be less secure.
Classify Rights to Access
Another step you might take is to be clear about how personal business technology may be used on the company network—during what times and for what activities. Again, it’s helpful simply to set some ground rules.
Educate Your Employees
Finally, if employees are going to be using various devices on the company’s network, it’s vital to school them in the basics of safe Internet use. Remember that the overwhelming majority of security breaches stem from user error! Ensure that your employees know how to surf safely in working environments. Consider starting a security awareness program.
Get IT Support from Salient Networks
As you consider the best ways to build a BYOD policy, and to ensure user security as well as the integrity of your network, you may wish to consult with a leading expert in business technology. Salient Networks more than fits the bill.
We are workplace technology gurus with an interest in helping people connect—as safely and as efficiently as possible. We offer IT services that include a robust focus on security, and our experts are happy to help you lay the ground rules for workplace device use that actually helps improve team communication.
We invite you to learn more about the different ways in which Salient Networks can help your BYOD policy to succeed. Reach out to our team today to learn more about IT support.