Bring Your Own Device or “BYOD” as it is more commonly referred as, means a company allows their employees to use their personal communication devices for work-related activities. It’s a move that not only can cut expenses, but enhances and improves employee productivity. In a study by Tech Pro Research, they report that about 60% of companies now allow their staff to use their own devices for business. But with all the sensitive company information floating on devices that aren’t controlled by the company, many IT professionals get concerned this move puts the organization’s data and software at risk.
However, with the proper BYOD security policy in place, it is possible to safely take advantage of all the benefits this mobile transition can offer.
Truth #1: Personal Devices Need Monitoring and Protection
Because of this, you should install a reputable security product that protects the personal devices being used. Utilizing a reputable mobile antivirus product will help to protect the system from a host of outside threats. When selecting the service, check user reviews and expert opinions.
Truth #2: Protect In-House Systems, Too
Confidential company information must be protected, regardless of what devices have access to it. Software should be implemented that makes it difficult for outsiders to obtain sensitive information. This information should include:
- Real-Time Traffic Scanner: Monitors any suspicious activities
- Malware Removal: Detects and removes threats
- Scanning Engine: Checks and analyzes traffic and sites being accessed
Truth #3: Encrypt Company Files and Communication
After converting to BYOD, all types of devices contain sensitive information including financial details and private corporate communications. This is exactly the type of information that is sought out by hackers looking to sell it to the highest bidder. Because of this, encryption methods should be implemented. The easiest way most companies encrypt data is through a solution like a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
Truth #4: Avoid Spyware
Spyware tools monitor online traffic to retrieve data from your system. However, if the system becomes infected, spyware causes issues like slow-downs, excessive pop-up advertisements, and annoying error messages. These annoying problems can quickly turn into a crisis when corporate data gets thrown into the mix. To prevent these types of problems, these precautions should be taken:
- Avoid unknown emails and social messages from unknown senders
- Avoid putting excessive personal information on social media
- Avoid free software downloads onto any systems containing corporate data
Truth #5: Back Everything Up. Yes, Everything
It’s simply not a choice anymore whether or not to back up your systems, it ‘s a necessity with a multitude of devices carrying your company information virtually everywhere. Today’s data breaches come from a multitude of sources, including ransomware that blocks systems for a ransom payment, as well as aggressive Malware that steals information and erases it after the fact.
Truth #6: Passwords are King
Nothing protects systems better than strong passwords, so every personal and corporate account should require access with passwords that contain letters and numbers as well as capitalization. Implement policies that require BYOD users to create a multitude of passwords as well as double authentication practices that better protect all private information. And lastly, prevent the browser from filling in the password credentials.
BYOD is a wonderful convenience, and many companies have found it to be an answer to many productivity and budgetary issues, but it must be done wisely. However, with the appropriate precautions in place, your company can remain protected while enjoying the conveniences that BYOD provides.