Because mobility and accessibility are crucial to your competitive edge, you don’t have the option to eliminate all those connected devices accessing your company database and sensitive client information. BYOD, or Bring Your Own Device, is a major security concern for businesses of all types.
Here are a few good tips to keep your data private but your staff mobile.
If a member of your team loses their phone or if their laptop is stolen, you need the ability to remote wipe their data. Even if someone has physical access to the device, they won’t have full access to your company’s database or the ability to view confidential documents. The only caveat here is that a remote wipe usually deletes everything from a device, including personal documents, photos, and music. So make sure your staff knows the consequences of a remote wipe before they store irreplaceable images or music on their laptop or phone. A good alternative is to suggest a cloud storage option, so even if a device gets wiped, personal data is safe on the cloud.
If you notice devices floating around your office or if you know your staff is accessing their emails and reports from home, then it might be time to draft a BYOD policy. A written policy is your chance to teach your staff right from wrong and to make sure they understand the risks associated with on-the-go work. Your BYOD policy will give you the right to remote wipe and to install anti-virus software on all connected devices.
A huge area you need to focus on within this policy is what happens when someone is fired or quits their job. How do you handle the information stored on their devices? On that same note, will you monitor the location of these devices? At all times? Will your employees be okay with this?
Mobile Device Management
You might want to consider a full-blown Mobile Device Management program like MobileIron or AirWatch. Using a program like these two will give you full control over all connected devices. Configure device settings, prevent data loss, receive unbroken visibility, and impose restrictions on downloads and Wi-Fi access. Make sure to have an open conversation with your employees before going this route, as MDM strips a lot of privacy and independence from a person.
Like a good password, device locks are crucial. Every device should have a password that keeps it locked when not in use or after a certain number of seconds. A device lock is the moat around your castle. It provides the first line of defense against physical intrusion. All it takes is an employee leaving their smartphone on the table at a coffee shop while they run to the restroom and someone grabbing it on the way out. With no device lock, that stranger now has full access to your network, data, client information, and everything else.
If you have a company-wide email platform, CRM, or file-sharing program, distinguish rules to enforce certain password restrictions. For instance, you are unable to use the combination “123” and you are not allowed to use your name. You have to use at least one capital letter, one number, and one special character. This way, if someone gains access to an employee’s phone or tablet, it’s considerably more difficult to hack into the company’s CRM through their personal account.