Ensuring a good and effective BYOD security policy has become critical for all businesses today, irrespective of their sector or size. Increasingly, employees are accessing corporate networks using their personal devices like laptops, mobile phones, tablets, fitness trackers, and so many more.
BYOD or Bring Your Own Device as a policy is both boon and bane. As a pro, it helps companies reduce costs tremendously, allows employees to be comfortable with their own devices while allowing a lot of flexibility and comfort. On the downside, it means opening up enough avenues for things to go wrong. The key thing here is to ensure that as a business you protect your proprietary data while reducing the impact on your employees to the minimum.
We'll go through some things you can do as a business to ensure a good BYOD security policy.
How to Ensure a Good BYOD Security Policy
1. Educate Educate Educate!
First and foremost, you need to educate your employees about the new policy and how it benefits them. While you might know why you are implementing a BYOD security policy, most employees really don't know the difference between what is secure and what is not. As a rule of thumb, I suggest you accept that all employees have zero to little knowledge about good security practices, especially related to BYOD. Educating then about BYOD means helping them understand how to interact with the corporate network and how to access proprietary data.
This is the most essential step to a good BYOD security policy. If your employees aren't aware, it could lead to unintentional data leakages, malware attacks, targeted attacks by hackers by identifying these weak access points, etc.
It is necessary to make education a regular affair. Host small meetups regularly to speak about secure practices, ensure managers deliver the same message to smaller teams. People tend to forget such things amidst their day to day activities. Don't feel shy about reminding them once in a while.
2. BYOD Policy Specifications
Once you've decided to implement a BYOD policy, it is essential to define what it covers. BYOD doesn't mean you provide full and open access to all your employees. As a business, you need to clearly define what applications, files, devices, and systems are accessible within the policy framework. Use an application security system to identify which applications are more vulnerable and provide restricted access to those while allowing the clean apps.
Additionally, in today's date, each employee carries numerous devices to work including phones, tablets, fitness trackers, smartwatches and so many more. You might want to restrict what operating systems and devices you would like to support as part of the BYOD policy. Not everything needs to get access to your corporate network, even if it can.
3. Enforce Your BYOD Security Policy
Alright, so you've decided to go ahead with a BYOD security policy and you've also identified apps, networks, operating systems and devices that are going to be part of the policy. Now what? Well, now that the policy is on paper, the tasks of putting it into force is what is most daunting.
The policy isn't supposed to just sit on paper or in the employee handbook. Ensure that the policy is part of the agreement for every new employee and is also circulated among the existing ones. Each employee needs to sign it as an acknowledgment. This is the time when you have to ensure the communication is perfect. This is supposed to be a good thing, both for them as well as you. Create modules for training employees on BYOD security policy for your organization.
Use products and solutions that help you monitor network and device activity. This will help you identify any breaches as well as help in strengthening your BYOD security policy. Find vendors who can offer real-time monitoring solutions that help you detect and resolve issues as they happen.
4. Use an Access Token
One of the ways to ensure some level of security to how employees access your proprietary information is to set up an access token like an identification pin. There are so many people who do not use any passwords on their mobile and laptop devices. In case of a malware attack or even a simple physical access to these devices, it can result in catastrophic damage to the company. Ensure there are good data encryption and advanced level password suggestion systems that help employees set up secure access to your networks.
5. Create Secure Exit Strategies
As people leave your organization, it is essential for you to ensure a secure handoff takes place. You will mostly not have access to their devices once they leave. It is essential, therefore, that you do it while they are about to transition. As part of the exit process, ensure a secure way to clean devices for any proprietary information. Numerous companies, big and small have suffered a lot, just because of this.
In today's world, employees will appreciate if you provide unrestricted access to their devices. It also helps promote mobility and the ability to work from anywhere. This could actually be very useful as a business as well. But it is essential to create a good BYOD security policy and ensure that it is implemented well to keep your data and proprietary information secure, always.