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Whitepaper. How to Implement a Strong BYOD Policy. BYOD on the Rise - But with Challenges

How to Implement a Strong BYOD Policy Mobility carries with it promises of convenience, productivity, and remarkable amounts of information at everyone s fingertips. While smartphones and other devices
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How to Implement a Strong BYOD Policy Mobility carries with it promises of convenience, productivity, and remarkable amounts of information at everyone s fingertips. While smartphones and other devices made their debut in the consumer landscape, these tools have emerged as a powerful force for the business world as well. From flexible working arrangements to seamless transitions while completing tasks in multiple locations, a growing array of gadgets could bring game-changing opportunities for enterprises. BYOD on the Rise - But with Challenges For that reason, many companies are implementing bring-yourown-device policies. Building on the portability and convenience of mobility, BYOD gives workers the chance to use the devices they re most comfortable with and find most suited to their professional activities. By allowing employees to log in to the company network using their own smartphones, tablets, laptops, or other devices, organizations can increase job satisfaction and fuel productivity, collaboration, and performance. There s just one problem. Putting a BYOD program in place can be complicated. IT teams relinquish some control over the network environment when they permit workers to connect with an increasing variety of devices. Lacking the same degree of oversight over hardware and software, BYOD options can easily cause security, privacy, and data management headaches for enterprises. In fact, a recent survey by ITIC/KnowBE4 revealed that 56 percent of corporations lack a proactive plan to respond to lost, stolen, or compromised BYOD equipment. Furthermore, half of the respondents indicated that their organizations company- and employee-owned devices might have been hacked over the past year. As ZDNet reported, research firm Ovum also found that IT departments are struggling to handle BYOD arrangements, with 30 to 35 percent of BYOD activity invisible to IT. That s why developing a strong, comprehensive BYOD policy is the critical first step to finding success with the initiative. In general, it s important to keep in mind the central goal of a BYOD policy: As CMS Wire emphasized, your main concern isn t to control the devices it s to protect the company s data and networks. Here are eight basic steps to creating a robust BYOD plan that balances security and management with convenience and usability. 1. Determine Business Goals and User Needs Before making decisions regarding devices, programs, and training, stakeholders need to form a deep understanding of their organizations goals and expectations for allowing workers to use their own devices. Do all employees need to be able to bring smartphones or tablets to work, or should the policy apply only to certain roles? Is the goal convenience and flexibility within the office? Will staff members choose to use their devices in order to continue working outside normal company hours? People involved in these discussions should represent multiple departments and levels of management, including lower-level employees, IT experts, supervisors, legal adviser, executives, and HR to ensure the policy is guided by comprehensive insight into the implications of the initiative and how it aims to address business goals and needs. 2. Decide Which Devices and Operating Systems to Permit BYOD doesn t have to be a complete free-for-all in fact, it shouldn t be. Organizations can restrict which types of devices, operating systems, and other tools are permissible for use at work and on the corporate network. To determine which guidelines to put in place, companies must keep in mind the need to balance usability and flexibility for their workers with the demands of their enterprise resources, network, and technology. For example, do managed file transfer systems have mobile applications? Do these tools work only on some operating systems or certain versions? 3. Set Guidelines for Reimbursement, Stipends, and Liability for Loss or Damages With BYOD policies, particularly if enterprises require employees to furnish their own devices, companies must keep in mind that the increased usage for business purposes could cause extra wear and tear for in-house devices. Will employees need to purchase new hardware or software to meet requirements outlined in the policy? In that case, companies may want to consider offering stipends to offset these expenses. Although many leaders look at BYOD as an opportunity to save on technology costs, enterprises must be careful not to burden workers unnecessarily. Organizations should also consider whether data and wireless usage, as well as who is responsible if devices are stolen, lost, or damaged particularly when being used for professional purposes or on company property. 4. Establish a Clear and Enforceable Security Policy Businesses must prevent workers from introducing vulnerabilities and threats into their secure environments when employees connect their own devices to company networks. To address these concerns, IT leaders should help develop requirements for installing antivirus programs and password creation. They can also implement measures and policies for restricting which outside applications workers can install on devices they use for professional purposes and identify what must happen should a device be compromised. For example, will all of the data need to be purged from the hardware, or will account management procedures be enough to protect corporate resources? These measures must be clear and communicated well to workers, and organizations must also establish plans and protocols to enforce requirements. 5. Clarify Ownership of Applications and Data With BYOD behaviors, the line between business and personal resources becomes increasingly blurred. That s why corporations need to outline which tools and data belong to the company and how decisions impact programs that workers use on the same gadgets during their personal time. Information privacy is an important consideration here. As Business News Daily highlighted, employees are uncomfortable with the idea that their bosses and IT teams can monitor their devices and accounts, which they often use for private communications and outside activities. Organizations should also be aware that a number of states have introduced legislation limiting employers abilities to access workers social media accounts. After consulting with legal teams, organizations should balance protecting corporate resources with respecting workers privacy regarding the personal information on their devices. Decision-makers must establish how they ll control and manage user access to company accounts and applications, which can help create clearer distinctions between corporate and personal resources. 6. Implement Supporting Technology and Set Expectations for Use Applications and other device tools, such as secure file transfer apps, can help keep corporate information separate from personal data as well as maintain a higher standard of security and control over important files. In this way, these solutions mitigate some of the issues that come when IT teams lose some of their ability to maintain oversight over network components and the flow of information. Importantly, employees should not only be informed on which programs they are supposed to use for handling certain types of professional processes or resources, these tools also must be intuitive and convenient enough to reduce the temptation to resort to alternatives. For example, secure file sharing options must not introduce difficult workflows; otherwise, team members lose the productivity benefits of BYOD and may even resort to consumer-grade options that don t have the necessary security. 7. Develop a Service Policy Detailing How IT Teams will Support Personal Devices IT support teams and help desks shouldn t be expected to assist workers with any issue that affects their personal devices, but they may need to provide guidance and services to keep tools running in top shape for professional activities. It s important to outline when employees should turn to the help desk when they run into problems and when they shouldn t. Additionally, IT staff may need to boost their knowledge of diverse devices and platforms to accommodate changes resulting from the BYOD policy. For organizations that limit which technology workers can use under their BYOD programs, this step can include giving IT professionals the resources they need to support those specific devices and operating systems. In companies with a more open BYOD policy, IT teams may need to build knowledge bases as they go. 8. Plan an Employee Exit Strategy Even before BYOD, handling the potential loss of control over corporate resources was an issue enterprises had to deal with whenever employees left the organization. In particular, when workers are fired or leave on unpleasant terms, this situation can even become a data breach risk. Regardless, companies must establish processes and procedures for removing access to applications and resources previously accessible or stored on BYOD gadgets. This could include wiping corporate data from the devices. Such protocols should be clearly explained to workers before they begin taking part in the BYOD initiative, especially if their own information might be cleared from the device as well. Conclusion: BYOD with Confidence As a whole, with the right planning and tools in place, BYOD can prove to be a valuable option for enterprises. To gain the benefits of increased mobility, convenience, and productivity, organizations must approach BYOD strategically from start to finish. This includes the development of a comprehensive BYOD policy, its execution, and ongoing training and enforcement. Beyond a strong policy, organizations also need to ensure their staff members are aware of the ins and outs of BYOD options. They should also train employees on security best practices and other aspects of device and data management to boost compliance with the policy and improve network safety as a whole. Today s technology offers a wide range of exciting options that can suit particular individuals and tasks better than run-of-the-mill enterprise technology. Bringing these resources into the corporate landscape in a strategic, well-managed way could have great advantages for workers and their employers. Sources: About Globalscape Globalscape ensures the reliability of mission-critical operations by securing sensitive data and intellectual property. Globalscape s suite of solutions features Enhanced File Transfer, the industry-leading enterprise file transfer platform that delivers military-grade security and a customizable solution for achieving best-in-class control and visibility of data in motion or at rest, across multiple locations. Founded in 1996, Globalscape is a leading enterprise solution provider of secure information exchange software and services to thousands of customers, including global enterprises, governments, and small businesses.
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