Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is a model whereby employees can access work-related systems or networks through their devices like smartphones, laptops, or tablets. It has been around for a while, but its popularity has increased over time owing to the growing tech space. Many businesses have also realized that there are several benefits linked to BYOD. In a study conducted by BT Global Services, 64% of surveyed users and IT managers thought productivity would improve if the BYOD policy were implemented. From the same study, it was found that 42% of the surveyed employees who use their own devices at work agreed that their efficiency and productivity had improved.
Well, BYOD enhances flexibility in that employees can now work remotely. You can also save on cash given you don’t need to invest in expensive devices for employees. Despite the benefits, problems like data insecurity can arise if best practices are not implemented. In that regard, we will enlighten you on some critical BYOD best practices for business.
Set minimum standards for hardware and software
BYOD requires that your employees use their devices for work. However, as a business owner or manager, you should set standards for the hardware and software that the employees use. Older and outdated devices can lower productivity due to their inability to support updated software and perform specific tasks. Remember, the use of obsolete software is a big risk to your business data security. Outdated software tends to be slow, has fewer functions, and more vulnerable to cyber-attacks, compromising your business data security.
IT support & necessary tools
Devices such as laptops and phones and the software installed in them are prone to performance issues. Performance issues can deter productivity and waste time, and thus, it is imperative to have IT support to provide instant solutions. Also, there are software and tools that you can use in business to increase productivity and safeguard business data. For instance, do you know what mobile device management can do for you regarding business security? Well, with the increased risks and high losses from data breaches, mobile device management software comes in handy to monitor, manage, and secure your employees’ hardware and software. For example, you can erase your business data if an employee resigns or if their device is stolen.
With BYOD, your employee can use their devices to access your business accounts or application at any time and from anywhere, and thus, access control is paramount. If it is reasonable for your business, provide minimal data access on personal devices. In case the device is stolen, the criminals will only have limited access to the business data. Also, in case of a cyber-attack, minimal data will be stolen or infected with malware. It is smart to boost access control by using biometrics and strong passwords to ensure that only authorized persons can access a BYOD device and its data.
Data security is a significant issue with BYOD because your employees will use their devices for other purposes other than office work. The devices are prone to infection with viruses or malware, spreading to the whole network in worse case scenarios. As a business owner, you should have a policy on how to enhance data security. Ensure that the employees’ devices have the latest antivirus software to block any harmful or suspicious data from entering into the devices.
Again, ensure that the software they use to access the workplace data is updated. Restrict the use of software that could predispose the devices to malware. It is always vital to encourage employees to use strong password protection on the devices and workplace sites to prevent a data breach. Better even, add an extra layer of protection to your workplace accounts and applications using two-factor authentication like using SMS on top of passwords. The bottom line is that BYOD will work well if your employees are conversant with cybersecurity threats like phishing emails.
Maintain the privacy of your employee data
Your business may require to monitor employees’ devices occasionally to view your business data. That said, your IT team should be disciplined enough not to view private data. If your employees feel insecure about their data, they could hesitate to embrace the BYOD policy. Before implementing the BYOD policy, you need to assure the employees of their data privacy and security.
The popularity of BYOD is on the rise due to its positive outcome in boosting workplace productivity, flexibility, and efficiency thus cutting the cost of production in businesses. Nevertheless, for BYOD to be successful, you have to put best practices like data protection, data privacy, and access control. Invest in proper tools and best practices to make the model work for your business.