Bring your own device (BYOD) approach, which allows employees to bring and use their personal devices to work, remains both a key opportunity and a big challenge for businesses. As it continues to boom in the modern workplace, every business today needs to implement an effective BYOD policy that follows the best-practice to identify & mitigate risks.
Businesses and employees can both benefit from BYOD, it can hugely reduce hardware costs for the business and lets employees use devices that are familiar which results in higher employee productivity. But it can also open doors to new risks and exposures. To mitigate these risks, you must understand what they entail.
Most of the risks around BYOD involve security and privacy risks. Such as:
- Loss of control and visibility of business data – loss of control and visibility of business data that is being transmitted, stored, and processed on a personal device becomes susceptible to man-in-the-middle (MitM) attacks and snooping at public Wi-Fi hotspots which often can lead to data theft.
- Data exposure – possible data leak or disclosure of business data from an unsecured device
- Physical loss or device theft – lost and stolen devices could result in the compromise of critical company data
- Unauthorized use of BYOD by a third-party – unauthorized use of BYOD by a third party such as family or friends at home
- Malicious apps – devices that allow push notifications or enable location-based services, for example, could lead to compromised device integrity. A malicious application may be able to sniff, modify, or steal business data. Additionally, even apps from official app stores could be suspicious and install rogue apps that could gain access to business data via bypassing security restrictions.
Tips for safeguarding data security
For an effective BYOD policy, you should be able to tackle the challenges that come along with it and balance employee freedom, app functionality, and data security. Here are some tips to help you create an effective BYOD policy:
- Implement an organization-wide BYOD policy – Many businesses run their BYOD programs without rules or guidelines. From the beginning, there should be a formal onboarding process before an employee’s device is allowed to access company data.
- Protect the data that employees’ access via their devices – While BYOD devices used in personal settings will always store company data, you should ensure that data is properly encrypted and containerized.
- Give your employees-controlled access to only the information they require – to minimize the impact of a potential data breach, you should always limit the access you give to your employees. For example, your human resource department should be granted access to HR files and should not have access to the sales department files.
- Train and educate your employees – Educate and train your employees on proper security measures and make sure you dictate required enrollment criteria. If they are aware of the risks, they know what to watch out for. Even something as simple as remote wiping a stolen or lost device can go a long way.
Planning and implementing an effective & fool-proof BYOD policy can take up a lot of time and resources. That’s where we can help! Call us today and we’ll help you build an effective BYOD policy that’s secure and designed to help your business prosper.