Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is a phrase used to describe the act of employees bringing mobile technology with them into the corporate IT environment. While there are both advocates and opponents of the phenomenon, everyone can agree on one thing: if you’re going to utilize BYOD, you must have procedures and protocols in place to maintain the security and integrity of all data. The following are strategies that an IT department can implement if BYOD is introduced into the company.
- Manage passwords: User-generated passwords should not be utilized for BYOD. Instead, IT departments should ensure that strong passwords are being used, just as they would ensure with laptops or desktop computers.
- Establish BYOD policies: With BYOD policies, companies can provide their task force the necessary access and connectivity that BYOD allows, but also reduce the risk of a security breach. This could include a list of acceptable devices and operating systems.
- Determine steps for stolen devices: If a device with any company information on it is lost or stolen, it’s important that employees know the correct actions to take to ensure company information isn’t compromised. Publish these as part of your BYOD policies.
- Specify application use: Use application control strategies, and make sure your BYOD policies includes specific applications that are unacceptable, as well as those that are.
- Access controls: Companies should enforce minimal access controls, and deny all applications, devices, and users, except for those that have been approved.
BYOD is here to stay, and research shows that by 2014, 80% of professionals will use at least two personal devices to access corporate systems and data. Establishing a BYOD policy now will ensure that when the time comes for your company to integrate BYOD into its IT plan, employees and IT professionals alike will be prepared.
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