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Bring Your Own Device Policy (BYOD): 7 Best Practices To Follow

In today’s modern business world, one of the latest trends that creates a buzz is the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy. As its name implies, it’s a practice that allows employees to perform their company tasks using their own devices. If designed and implemented correctly, BYOD can help your business maintain successful operations while improving employee satisfaction and productivity.

  • Published: 22-09-2022

  • Related Category: Security Analytics

  • Type of Content: Articles

  • Owner: CEI


Unfortunately, while BYOD may empower your workforce and make your team members more productive, it may pose serious privacy, security, and compliance risks. To avoid such risks, creating the best BYOD security policies or strategies is crucial.  Depending on your company’s concerns and priorities, here are the best practices that you should follow:

  1. Write A Formal And Clear BYOD Policy
    Having a clear and written formal policy won’t only keep everybody on the same page but can also help address potential privacy and security risks. While you can always rely on professionals providing network security services to resolve possible BYOD issues, a written policy will help ensure employees know how and when they must use their devices for work.

    Generally, a written BYOD policy should include the following:
     
    • Allowed Types of Devices
      A good BYOD policy should define what devices employees can use. For instance, other companies may allow iPads but prohibit using other tablets due to security concerns. Several companies also limit devices based on operating systems and brands but use a more cautious approach to list specific versions and models. Either way, your organization should configure and set up each device before your team members start accessing sensitive data.
       
    • Banned and Permitted Apps
      A list of banned and permitted apps will guide employees about the particular apps they can use or download on their devices. Since you’re restricting personal devices, a blocklisting approach is a sensible strategy to enforce rules and avoid security threats like spyware.
       
    • Security Protocols
      Your BYOD policy plays an essential role in your cybersecurity efforts. For this reason, it’s critical to include security protocols in your policy. For example, recommend your team members to change passwords regularly and use multi-factor authentication. If you want to strengthen your BYOD security policies, it may be handy to consult your security team. This way, you’ll know what to and what not to include in your policy. You should also note that some employees resist having lock screens or long passwords on personal devices. But since they’ll use their devices to access your company’s sensitive data, a simple swipe-and-go unlock system isn’t enough to keep your business safe.
       
  2. Determine Your Company Requirements
    When implementing BYOD, consider your team members’ habits, work culture, and applicable laws. Think of the possible scenarios where users prefer to access company data and the usual habits of your staff when accessing confidential data.
    For example, sales managers prefer taking orders on tablets rather than carrying laptops. Determining your organizational restrictions or requirements will help build a standard structure to adopt BYOD successfully.
     
  3. Set Access Restrictions
    Access restrictions are crucial to limit your workforce's use of their devices. These also have several benefits. One of these is that it prevents team members from accessing applications and networks unrelated to their duties, reducing potential internal data leaks. The other benefit of restricting access is that it can minimize the breach damages in case cybercriminals manage to compromise employee accounts and devices.

    You can restrict employee access based on device, location, and role. To make things simpler for you, use mobile device management (MDM) solution to schedule app lockouts to stop team members from logging into their accounts outside office hours. You may even block a vulnerable device, especially if it has a jailbroken operating system or is connected to a public wireless connection.
     
  4. Track BYOD Usage
    Employee-owned devices are the common targets of cybercriminals. This is why vulnerable devices with high-level privileges and user access may cause businesses irreversible damage and expensive data leaks. To prevent this, it’s critical to track BYOD usage through real-time security detection and monitoring practices, which include the following:
    • Understand how apps and users access company data
    • Track metrics of network security and traffic
    • Restrict information access and data consumption based on business security policies
       
  5. Remove Devices If No Longer Needed
    Your BYOD policy should include an exit strategy for employee-owned devices. When your team members leave the company, they should agree to remove access privileges, delete user accounts, wipe data, and uninstall company apps. For best results, use an MDM tool for better wiping procedures so that your staff’s personal information stays intact after deleting their company account data.
     
  6. Have A Routine Data Backup
    A well-crafted BYOD policy can reduce the risks of potential cyber threats like a security breach. However, if cyber criminals manage to sabotage your defenses, you should practice routine data backup to help you restore data immediately. If possible, create a comprehensive backup strategy to recover any data stored on BYOD devices quickly.
     
  7. Educate Your Workforce
    Your workforce serves as your company’s first line of defense against any BYOD security loophole or cyber-attack. To get it right and make the most out of BYOD policies, you should educate your workforce.

    While security-aware and knowledgeable professionals may help ward off most cyber threats, some of your team members may not know about the steps to take. In this case, your company and its sensitive data will be at risk.

    As a solution, it’s critical to train your workforce and convince them to comply with your company’s BYOD policy. For instance, educate every team member on the potential security risks associated with implementing the BYOD program. To resolve security issues immediately, train them about the possible steps they should take to combat attacks.

    Providing adequate pathways and reasons to prevent security malpractices is also a good idea. In addition, consider establishing a culture of loyalty and trust among your employees to minimize the possibility of staff going rogue against the company.

Conclusion

Regarding the BYOD policy, there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach since every organization has unique needs. So, if you’re planning to implement BYOD in your business, make sure to follow the above practices in mind to avoid problems and get the results you desire.



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