Bring Your Own Device Policy

Developing a Bring Your Own Device Policy

It’s becoming increasingly rare to encounter someone who doesn’t own a cell phone. That means almost all of your employees have a powerful tool in their pockets at all times—one that’s also a potential source of distraction or abuse. If you’re open to the idea of using these devices to benefit your organization, developing a bring your own device (BYOD) policy is a critical first step. By adopting a BYOD policy, your organization can prioritize a more mobile workforce for a minimal investment while ensuring that your team members are using their devices to maximize productivity.

With these considerations in mind, here are four key factors to consider as you start developing a BYOD policy for your team.

Clarify Which Devices Are Allowed

The term “mobile device” encompasses a variety of electronics that your team likely already has access to on a daily basis. These mobile devices include cell phones, tablets, laptops, smart watches, handheld gaming consoles, portable music players, and digital cameras.

As you begin developing a BYOD plan, the first step is clarifying which devices are allowed and which aren’t. By outlining what’s acceptable, you can avoid the risk of policy loopholes being exploited. Along with defining which devices are acceptable to use, are there particular areas or hours of the day when they aren’t allowed to? If so, make sure the policy explicitly states any and all rules as well as extenuating circumstances.

Implement Security Policies

Once you’ve established which devices are allowed, where they’re permitted, and when they can be accessed, the next step is ensuring that these devices don’t leave your business’s network vulnerable to security breaches. Mobile security measures can be as simple as requiring that employees use passwords and lock screens to secure their devices. You can even require that they install security software to continuously monitor devices for threats.

Establish Boundaries

Since employees still retain ownership of the mobile devices they bring to work, you need to denote where your responsibilities begin and end. Your BYOD policy should explain what level of support—if any—your IT team is willing to offer for employee-owned devices.

How far should your team go to ensure that devices are able to connect to your network? Will you provide temporary devices in the event that an employee’s primary device is being repaired or replaced? By clarifying your responsibilities beforehand, you can save a lot of time in trouble when extenuating circumstances arise later on.

Outline Acceptable Application Use

On top of clarifying which devices are allowed, you also need to decide which applications are permitted during business hours. If using social media isn’t a part of the job, you may want to consider whether you want employees using social media at work.

Beyond apps that present potential distractions, apps can also create potential security vulnerabilities on devices with sensitive company data. Being mindful of which apps your employees are using at work is the first step to ensuring that they have the tools to focus on the task at hand while protecting your company’s data.

Want to learn more about how our network security services, complete with a network security assessment, can help solidify your business’s network defenses? Contact our experts to get started today.