It is no surprise that the trend of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) continues to trend favorably among businesses large and small. A properly executed BYOD strategy can save a company money, increase productivity, and increase employee job satisfaction. All of these benefits can be obtained without the loss of corporate security or an increase in the leakage of important company information. For the individual, a BYOD policy gives you extra flexibility in selecting the devices that best fit your particular needs.
In this article, I’ll take a look at some of what it takes to implement a BYOD program in your business. Done right, you avoid Bring Your Own Disasters!
We often tell programmers not to touch the keyboard until they have planned out the code they are going to work on. In a BYOD plan, it is vital you lay out the policies for your company and access to your company information.
Who can access the network?
This is the most critical policy and it is not as simple as you might first think. A good access policy starts with the assumption that people don’t need access outside the office, then justifying each person or group you add. It is just super easy to say everybody which leads to problems down the road.
By really justifying everyone and every group, you start with tight access before anybody has logged onto your network. For example, inside sales guys. When they leave the office, do you want them to have access to your sales database? Access to the CRM system? Do the developers need after hours/off campus access to core systems?
What can be accessed?
Everybody sending and receiving email is usually a safe bet. But is a general purpose Virtual Private Network (VPN) access for everybody the right way to go? You should audit your systems and decide which systems need external access and by whom. Then adjust your access systems (VPN, Remote PC, etc.) to match what you want to grant.
What devices can access the network?
Samsung’s latest flagship mobile phones, tablets, and two-in-one devices all give people amazing tools to accomplish business tasks. The key to good BYOD policies is to decide what devices are allowed onto the network and communicate that information to everyone. In some cases, questionable clone/cheap import devices will not have the built-in security features like Samsung’s Knox security platform. Ensuring that the devices themselves will protect you from malicious attacks or worse, is critical to a successful BYOD program.
Configuring for work/play
People using their own devices don’t want the boss looking at private/personal material on the device. This means that the company should have a strong way to have a managed area on the device that goes when the employee goes but doesn’t blow up the whole phone. Samsung Knox provides a container where work can stay in one, secure, encrypted location that can be managed by the company via an EMM partner such as AirWatch, MobileIron, SOTI, to name three. Using Samsung Knox or other product, both the company and employee can be sure data is separate and personal material is controlled only by the individual.
Audits, logs, and spot checks
It is critical that everybody, IT people, management, and the employees all agree to security policies about auditing devices, logging access, and spot checks for compliance. These issues get incrementally more important as the level of regulations are linked to you line of business.
As you can see, there are many issues surrounding the implementation of a solid BYOD program. Take the time to lay out all the issues, policies, and procedures in advance so your odds of success will be in your favor.