Bring your own device – How to deal with this growing trend
Apparently there are now more mobiles and mobile devices than toothbrushes in world. We are obsessed by mobile devices and fascinated by technology and the advances that they bring to our professional and private lives.
This fascination overspills into the corporate environment with increasing numbers of employees using their own devices to access company email, files and applications, be that as part of a formal BYOD (bring your own device) process or informally and under the governance radar.
This fracturing of the landscape in IT has many serious implications for organisations, including the obvious security concerns but also importantly software licencing repercussions. It is also a huge challenge for IT departments to integrate employee mobile devices into existing policies, networks and regulatory frameworks.
If you are considering allowing employees to bring their own devices into your organisation, here are some of the rules you will need to consider:
Communication is key
If you want a project to be successful you need to communicate it well, and start at the top. Get the board on side and then roll it out across the rest of the organisation. Be clear on capabilities and privacy features and make sure everyone knows what it can do before they are using it.
Security, security, security
Users should never forget that corporate data on their device is not theirs to lose. Protecting this data and the device is essential and all mobile devices must have a passcode to protect it – once a device is enrolled on the network, enforce complex enough passcodes to protect your company data from getting into the wrong hands.
Encryption is an extra security layer that is also essential as a passcode alone won’t be enough to protect your data from a real intruder. Organisations have a lot of options in this area and can encrypt a whole device or just a corporate container. If the worst happens, do you have remote wipe capability?
Train your users
Make sure that your users understand how to conform to the new mobile device corporate policy and keep them informed of what information will be tracked on their phones such as location tracking or which apps have been downloaded.
Restrict data flow
Data sharing apps such as Dropbox are being used increasingly in organisations and even when an app is managed users will still be able to transfer internal data outside of the business. Integrating with a container-based approach will enable content to be controlled by restrictive policies and systems administrators can remove corporate data on-demand from devices.
Don’t forget the leavers
Many organisations forget that when an employee leaves an organisation access to email and company data can still be active. Making sure that there is a HR process in place to notify systems administrators who can wipe entire devices or use an enterprise mobility management solution which will enable them to manage profiles on a profile device without having the touch other information on the phone.
Understand why you are doing it before you jump in
One of the most important exercises to do at the start of the project is to understand exactly why you think you need BYOD in the first place. By bringing a mobile device into the enterprise some of the benefits of the device will immediately be lost by employing a management solution, so don’t be surprised when capabilities that we are accustomed to are lost. It’s down to IT to facilitate not block and listen to what the business needs and try to find a solution that is secure but still enables users to work effectively.
A lot of mobile devices aren’t any different from static devices, they just have a longer disconnection, but BYOD is a whole different ball game.
If you would like advice on how to approach BYOD in your organisation contact eXceeding who can assist you with IT strategy and IT vendor procurement from a vendor-neutral perspective.
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