A Checklist for Embracing BYOD in IT Policy

Ali Liaquat

The rising Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) movement and the consumerization of IT have left many organizations with outdated IT policies that don’t support an agile workforce by enabling them to work from anywhere, at any time, using any device.

Several debates about embracing BYOD in IT policy ended up on ‘security’ concerns. Yes, you need to protect your company’s data – but it’s no longer the case of choosing security over freedom of use. With a forward-thinking IT policy you can have both freedom and security.

Is your IT policy holding your company and your employees back from embracing BYOD? If so, use this checklist and start building an IT policy that embraces the future and protects your business.

Know Your Devices

Establish which devices you are ready to support. Do your homework on which devices meet your security standards and let users know what they can and can’t use. Find out which devices have native enterprise management tools and which ones use third-party tools.

Establish the Ground-Rules

Do users know they might get their personal data wiped if their device is compromised? If users are working from their own devices, make sure they know the risks involved. Make this clear in simple terms, before they start using the device for work.

Lock-Down Your Data

Make security measures, like having a PIN or encryption, mandatory. Undertake periodic security audits to help verify the safety of company data and assess any potential risks. Encrypt data where possible.

Vet Your Apps

Not all apps will meet your security standards. Determine which will help users in their work, without compromising company data. Set up an app lab and test them to see which ones meet your business needs. Find the right apps for you, and then recommend them to users.

Invest In Training

If you’re embracing BYOD in your IT policy, you should take the time to train users in best BYOD practice. Give them the knowledge they need to protect company data and reduce the risk of having their devices compromised. You also need to facilitate community-based support. So it’s not just about training – it’s about building a culture that makes people collaborate better.

If your company lets employees bring their own devices to the workplace, you had better develop a formal BYOD policy that understands privacy rights and access rights for both employers and employees.

In this way, BYOD will become a genuine asset that can allow your employees to reach new levels of productivity.

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  • Mike Simpson

    nice read.. thanks for sharing

  • Joseph

    This is pretty vague description of how to approach BYOD in an organization.

    Why not focus in specifically on new technologies or services that have become available which an organization could leverage to achieve both the freedom and security you mention?

  • http://www.ericom.com/BYOD_Workplace.asp?URL_ID=708 Adam

    The explosion in the variety of mobile devices has fueled BYOD while creating major challenges for IT staff. How do they secure sensitive data? How do they manage all those different types of devices? How do they connect employees and their devices with corporate applications?

    One strategy for meeting these challenges is to separate data and applications from the end user devices. This can also be achieved with a combination of virtualization and HTML5 technologies. For example, data and applications can be securely hosted on VDI virtual desktops or on Microsoft RDS (Terminal Server) while mobile employees access those applications and desktops using HTML5-compatible browsers.

    That’s the idea behind solutions like Ericom AccessNow, an HTML5 RDP client that enables access to Windows applications and desktops from a browser. Basing access on the browser allows employees to get to their applications and data from Android tablets and phones, iPads, iPhones and other devices.

    This white paper – “BYOD is Here to Stay, But Organizations Must Adapt” – discusses additional strategies for addressing some of the challenges of BYOD:
    http://www.ericom.com/wp-byod.asp?URL_ID=708

    Please note that I work for Ericom