Implementing a bring your own device (BYOD) program is a great way to reduce costs and improve employee productivity. It’s far cheaper than providing business-issued devices to all your employees, and people tend to work more efficiently when they’re using the things they’re most familiar with. It’s also more convenient not to have to carry around separate devices for personal and business use. But while BYOD is chock-full of benefits, it introduces some new risks that need to be addressed, as well.
Here are five of the most common BYOD challenges you need to overcome:
#1. Device support
One of the first considerations when drawing up a BYOD policy is which devices you’re going to include in the program. It’s important to find the right compromise here, since supporting too few manufacturers, models, and platforms will result in low adoption rates. Try to support everything, and you may end up running into difficulties when your team needs to work with devices they’re not very familiar with. For example, if your administrative staff and/or BYOD software can only work with iPhones, supporting Android-powered devices might prove challenging.
To figure out which devices to allow in your BYOD program, create a company survey that asks what devices employees are using. Then, compile the results, and support the most popular devices in your company.
#2. Approval processes
To maximize end-user adoption, you’ll want to make the approval process as quick and easy as possible. Employees should be able to register in your BYOD program in a few minutes after checking whether their device is supported. However, you’ll also want to be transparent about the steps you take to safeguard employee privacy and device ownership. Approval processes should clearly lay out the rules and define a straightforward exit strategy for anyone who wants to leave the program or depart the business.
#3. User authentication
Most data breaches occur due to mismanaged access rights and poor administrative controls. Every BYOD policy should include a clause about passwords and verification methods. After all, you can hardly have employees using mobile devices that aren’t even protected by a PIN code and lock screen.
When accessing business systems and data, you should also enforce a single sign-on (SSO) solution that lets employees access all apps and data used for work with a single set of login credentials. Finally, be sure to enforce an additional verification layer, such as a one-time security token or fingerprint scanner.
#4. Lost devices
One of the biggest risks of allowing mobile devices for work is the fact that they’re far more likely to get lost or stolen. But usually far worse than losing the value of the device is having a third party being able to access any confidential data and accounts stored on it. Every BYOD policy should have a remote wiping clause, although you should make every reasonable effort to prevent wiping employee-owned apps and data. Administrators also need a way to revoke access rights on employee-owned devices as soon as one is reported lost or stolen or if an employee’s contract is terminated.
#5. Data management
Finding the right compromise between employee privacy and security is perhaps the biggest challenge of all, since no one will want to enroll in your BYOD program if they feel it will involve surrendering control over their own devices, applications, and personal data. The best way to ensure both is to keep work-related apps and data separate.
If anything belonging to the business is to be stored on the local device itself, then it should exist in its own partition that the company retains full control over. Better yet, keeping your apps and data hosted in the cloud can eliminate the need for keeping things stored locally. That way, employees can use their devices for accessing business systems without any need to download, install, or store confidential data locally.
In-Touch Computer Services removes the stress and complications associated with installing a robust BYOD policy in your business. Give us a call today to get started.