BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is a movement that has gained great speed within the last four years. With employees that sync accounts from PC to tablet to cell phone, information and data is readily available at any given moment.
Our goal here is to educate you on the potential security issues & risks. If BYOD is right for you, you will want to make sure it is done securely to avoid the most common disasters.
BYOD Disasters & Traps
- Out of Compliance
When employees access data on personal devices, businesses have no guarantee that the devices are compliant with the company’s data & privacy policies or mandated HIPAA regulations.
Failure to comply with federal regulations can result in consequences from expensive fines to criminal penalties.
- From Your Network to Their Cloud
Having an employee with their own device means the potential for access to individual cloud services such as OneDrive or Dropbox.
Employees can easily snap photos or copy confidential data into their personal cloud for access away from your network without IT even being aware.
- Rogue Apps & Security
Speaking of personal clouds, having a device on the network with access to personal cloud services, also means that without the proper security policies in place, your network can be threatened with viruses and ransomware in the form of rogue files. The more access these devices have to your network, the more damage the infection can cause.
- The Productivity Problem
When BYOD began gaining popularity in 2012, it promised to make your employees happier and more productive. Staff could choose from a number of apps and tools to accomplish their work, using tools that they are more comfortable with. It wasn’t long after that companies began finding their employees on social media during work hours or worse, playing games or streaming movies.
- Lost or Stolen Devices
Having a device lost or stolen can be a costly mistake. Employees are naturally more free when it comes to using a personal device versus a company-owned device. Regardless, having a device with critical company data, including customer information, lost or stolen from a restaurant or your car’s back seat can cost you heavy fines or the loss of a valued customer.
Adopting the BYOD Policy
If you decide that BYOD is for you, it is best to adopt a company-wide policy that will protect both you and your employees. Specify what devices are permitted and who is responsible for servicing the devices for maintenance. Also clearly state who owns what apps and data, and what apps will or will not be allowed.
Place proper security within your network to protect yourself from malware and viruses. If your business is held to government standards due to HIPAA-compliancy or other federal regulations, make sure that your employees are included in this as well.
Lastly, develop an exit strategy. When an employee leaves your company, what will happen to the data on that device? Are you simply relying on changing passwords?
There are many other questions that you may have, so always feel free to contact a professional to discuss your options and responsibilities. The suggestions here are merely the tip of the iceberg to make you aware of the details involved when incorporating BYOD into your network.