byodBring your own device (BYOD) refers to the policy of permitting employees to bring personally owned mobile devices (laptops, tablets, and smart phones) to their workplace, and to use those devices to access privileged company information and applications.

Mobile device ownership has skyrocketed over the last few years and gradually the BYOD movement has gone mainstream. The reasons are obviously that mobile devices offer an unparalleled level of flexibility and that company can save costs when employees bring their own devices.

Of course there are also some drawbacks, such as security and manageability issues, since the employees’ personal devices could potentially infect the company network with viruses, and data can be compromised if the device is lost or stolen, or private and corporate data get mixed up.

VMware, one of the pioneers and proponents of the BYOD movement gives business leaders and IT departments useful strategy tips to secure BYOD devices:

  • Think of BYOD as an enabler and give employees the choice and flexibility of BYOD to do their jobs more productively and efficiently. However, make sure that employees enroll in enterprise mobile management (EMM) to minimize unauthorized access and keep the organization safe from security breaches.
  • Get the right tools in place before rolling out a BYOD initiative. You will need to ensure that policies and tools are in place to provide IT oversight and top-tier security. Therefore, IT personnel must ensure their network architecture can handle increases in Wi-Fi traffic and that the existing device management platform can scale to manage the influx of new employee devices. Besides, make sure to leverage existing policies that have been developed for corporate devices and extend the necessary policies, apps and content to BYOD. Extend support to all major device types and operating systems in order to keep pace with the innovation in the market and be able to control network and content access.
  • Establish clear BYOD policies and terms of use by outlining both the risks of unauthorized access and the benefits BYOD programs provide. The BYOD policy should clearly define the rules of the program, in accordance with government regulations and company security policies. It should also clearly outline what IT will be able to see and manage on personal devices, so there is no fear of personal data being compromised or exposed.
  • Consider how the company will support the costs associated with employee-owned devices prior to a BYOD rollout. You might want to restrict downloading documents to Wi-Fi-only or restrict access to native features such as video calling, which can consume large amounts of data, or partner with telecom expense management providers that offer data compression and management.
  • Offer employees some assistance in connecting their devices or troubleshooting issues. Using a simplified management platform for both BYOD and corporate devices can give IT departments the time to take on a consultative role when needed.

VMware concludes by highlighting that the best way to implement BYOD is within a broader enterprise mobility management (EMM) solution that gives users a seamless experience across multiple devices, delivering a secure workspace for business critical applications, enabling BYOD and self-service capabilities.

By MediaBUZZ