You may have heard the acronym BYOD thrown around in recent times, and probably wondered who was having a house party. Unfortunately we’re not talking Bring Your Own Bottlee in this blog, but Bring Your Own Device. BYOD is a growing trend, which involves employees using their own devices at work. One of the main factors behind the BYOD explosion is a lack of tech investment in many businesses, leaving employees feeling that the devices they use at home are more advanced than what they’re supplied with at work.
There are undoubtedly many benefits of BYOD. Allowing employees to use their own devices at work can empower them and improve their productivity. Of course, it can also reduce costs. If your employees are investing in the latest tech, your business can afford to wait a little longer before purchasing new products.
However, there’s a major flaw with BYOD – security. You may have invested in top security systems for your business, but are your employees’ devices secure? Rather than preventing your employees from bringing their own devices, here’s how you can regulate BYOD and keep your business safe.
What are the dangers of BYOD?
Before we get into solutions, it’s important to understand how the increase in BYOD could be a threat to your business. It’s likely your employees will be accessing important corporate data on their devices, through their emails, for example. They may be accessing this information on unprotected Wi-Fi networks, which exposes your business to cyber attacks. There’s also the concern about devices being lost or stolen, and then compromised.
Your checklist to protect against the threats posed by BYOD
- Declare devices – implement a rule where any personal device used for work is declared to management; whether it’s a mobile phone, a tablet, or a laptop. Awareness of what your employees are using to access business data is the first step to regulation. Make it simple for employees to declare their devices with an easily accessible form, and ensure they are educated on the importance of declaration.
- Delegate responsibility – SMEs may have smaller IT departments, or no IT department at all, so you need to decide who is responsible for implementing a BYOD policy. Once devices have been declared by employees, there needs to be someone in charge of the next steps.
- Install anti-virus software – once devices have been declared and a designated BYOD officer is in place, you need to ensure anti-virus software is installed on each device. To ensure employees still feel in control of their own device, you should allow them to install the recommended software themselves, and then report to the BYOD officer for a check-back. Make sure you schedule in regular software updates to keep devices protected.
- Educate your employees – there’s only so much control you can have over your employees’ devices, so you need to ensure they are educated on the dangers of BYOD and how they can stay protected. Be clear on the consequences that carelessness could have on the business.
The BYOD explosion is a great opportunity for improved flexibility and productivity in the workplace – embrace it, but stay vigilant. If you want to find out more about keeping your business safe, speak to our team.