Leveraging policies to create secure BYOD efforts
Mar 10, 2015
Company use of mobile devices has been fairly sporadic, but the bring-your-own-device trend is continuing to grow across organizations. With more decision-makers adopting this effort, they now have new considerations to factor into their operations to ensure that their data remains secure and employees boost their efficiency to optimum levels. If the staff members cannot use their hardware effectively, the BYOD effort has failed. However, by understanding the implications of the initiative, management can better plan for potential risks.
Mitigating BYOD threats
In many cases, the dangers of BYOD are explicitly highlighted in order to ensure that organizations know what they’re up against. Inside Counsel contributor Matt Nelson noted that these risks include privacy concerns, lost or stolen devices and cyberthreats. With cyberattacks and malware becoming more sophisticated, it should be no surprise the management is worried about data protection in a BYOD environment. However, a secure file sharing program can ease these fears and provide businesses with the tools they need to keep sensitive information safe from unauthorized viewers. These systems often come with encryption and remote wiping capabilities, ensuring that if corporate files end up in the wrong hands, the threat can be effectively mitigated.
“Whether or not the employee has a reasonable expectation of privacy with respect to the data on the device often turns on a number of factors including, but not limited to: who owns the device; privacy laws of the controlling jurisdiction; employee/employer agreements; and whether or not the device is used for both personal and business purposes,” Nelson wrote.
Is the business ready for BYOD?
Each organization has its own needs for BYOD, but there are a few factors that will indicate that it’s ready to take on the trend. SmartData Collective contributor Rick Delgado noted that companies that have a BYOD plan, are flexible in their mobile approach and have a capable IT department will be able to effectively integrate BYOD into their operations. Without these aspects, management would not be able to regulate usage or ensure that employees were observing established rules. However, by establishing a fair BYOD policy and enforcing it with the support of IT, the business can guarantee that users will have an optimal environment for online file sharing and other mobile activities without sacrificing data security.
“Companies should never adopt a BYOD policy simply because it is trendy. Such a change should be based on the knowledge that it will forward the purposes of the company,” Delgado wrote. “As a change in policy will require time, effort and money, it’s essential that companies outline the specific benefits BYOD will provide.”