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Some Thoughts on BYOD (Bring Your Own Device to Work)

Most companies these days allow, or even insist, that employees use one or more of their own devices for work. Rather than causing resentment, the majority of employees actually prefer using their own phones, tablets or laptops, rather than having to carry two of the same type device. They are comfortable with the devices they understand and are probably upgrading them faster than the company network support team would be doing, thus giving both the employee and employer the benefit of more current technology.

That being said, there are concerns that many employees have, some real, some perceived, that must be addressed and, additionally, network support and security for devices the company doesn’t own can be challenging. On the employee front, those who are required to use their own devices often feel they are losing privacy, including the possibility that their personal information may be accessed. This can be overcome with adjustments on the network support side and explanations (in lay terms) to the employees.

We won’t get into too much technical detail here, but on the employer’s side the issue of keeping company data secure demands serious consideration. This requires the creation of an “Acceptable Use Policy”, but please keep in mind that policies like this are only helpful if they are enforced.  (If you want more information about BYOD policies, check out our White Paper on the subject.) If you are going to allow or require BYOD, here are some guidelines on how to begin:

Pilot Program

Start small. If you only have a few employees, you may want to include everyone, but if you are mid-sized and growing, limit the participants until you’ve got the bugs worked out.

Involve All Constituents

A strong BYOD policy will involve every department in the company: sales, marketing, HR, finance, R&D, etc. Make sure people from each of these are involved in the set-up and roll-out discussions.

Employee Training

Employee training today is important in many areas of cyber security. Employee email accounts are the number one source of access for cyber intrusion of all types. BYOD is no different. This is an important network support issue.

Industry Specific Security

PCI, HIPAA, GLBA, DSS and others. You don’t want to be 100% in compliance in-house, then fail to keep employee devices adequately protected.

Device Level Security Isn’t Enough

Proper network support and security requires multiple defense layers. Hard as you try, you may not always be successful in keeping every device secure, so your network must provide protection for this.

Additional Costs

Yes, by asking/allowing your employees to use their own devices, there will be savings, perhaps substantial. However, there may also be additional expenses to install updated infrastructure technology. All in all, however, the switch should help your bottom line.

Again, if you would like to learn more, check out the White Paper, or, even better, give us a call. We have been providing IT network support for more than 25 years and would love to chat with you. Call us today at 678-373-0716.

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