|By Hovhannes Avoyan||
|October 4, 2012 11:23 AM EDT||
As IT becomes more and more personal with the re-invention of smartphones and tablet computers, device management increasingly becomes an issue in organizations. We have covered some important aspects of BYOD policy in our blog, discussing pros and cons of BYOD and today we want to share with you a list of tips from various sources.
Tip #1 – Face the Inevitability of BYOD – and Prepare for It
“70% of small businesses recently surveyed said that BYOD was inevitability at their firms, because so many employees were demanding it…”
Tip #2 – Determine if BYOD is Appropriate for Your Business
“Employees want to choose the same type of device they’ve always used. The way to give the greatest choice is through a BYOD program. This can be good for industries that are very competitive for the brightest employees, such as law firms. It’s an extra perk.
Also, companies with employees that need a phone maybe 20 percent of the time, not really key to their jobs, it may make sense to let them bring their own device and give them a $20 or $30 stipend.
But if a phone is mission critical with all the apps and data, I don’t know how you can turn that into a BYOD device. The legal system hasn’t decided who owns the data on an individual-liable device, even corporate data. It hasn’t ruled consistently on this yet.”
Tip #3 – Make Sure Operating Systems are Compatible
“One of the advantages to owning your own technology infrastructure is the assurance that all of the machines within the enterprise will talk to each other and behave in predictable ways. By allowing employees to bring their own devices, you introduce an element of randomness. Beyond the well-known Apple versus PC argument, there are also many operating systems out there in the land of smartphones: iOS, Android, Windows, Blackberry, Ubuntu Linux, and more. Will they be able to work with your own devices and the devices of their fellow employees?”
Tip #4 – Keep an Eye on Security
“Security and policy are important first steps in a BYOD environment. Thirty-nine percent of companies have experienced a security breach due to employees using unauthorized devices, according to a recent survey by British Telecom of 2,000 enterprises in 11 countries.”
“CIOs have been dealing with mobile device security for a decade. First, there were BlackBerry devices. Then more smartphones emerged, followed by netbooks, and now Apple Inc. has made the tablet famous with the iPad and iPad 2. Now that their form and functionality have been adopted by the consumer outside of the IT shop, CIOs must address not only how devices fit inside their IT shops, but also how their users are connecting to (and putting at risk) the network with their own personal devices.”
Tip #5 – Have a Passcode Rule
“One of the biggest risks to small business owners that let employees use their own mobile devices is if that device will get lost or stolen with sensitive business data or customer information on it. In addition to enforcing a strong passcode rule, small businesses need to make sure the devices have encryption installed.”
Tip #6 – Have a Plan for Emails and Documents
“Email and documents remain two grays areas of which you need to be aware… pay special attention to what happens to your email since email messages stored on mobile devices can contain sensitive data that can be compromised if the device is lost or stolen.”
Tip #7 – Plan Ahead on How to Recover Data
“You may be at risk when you walk around with corporate information on your device. If your device is lost or stolen, what liability do you assume? If you quit your job or get fired, what policies and procedures does your employer have in place to recover their data while removing any potential liability from yourself?”
Tip #8 – Establish Boundaries between Work and Home
“Some of those benefits [of BYOD] include improved productivity and work-life balance among employees as well as significant cost savings. At the same time, BYOD presents agencies with a myriad of security, policy, technical and legal challenges, the working group found.”
“… while improved work-life balance has been touted as a benefit of telework and BYOD, it can produce potentially negative results as well, particularly as employees may have a difficult time establishing work-life boundaries”
Tip # 9 – Make Sure You Have a BYOD Policy in Place
“The details of any BYOD policy will be specific to a given organization, but most policies cover the same basic questions: How should users protect their devices? What data and applications can and can’t be accessed? And what happens when a user loses a device or leaves the company?”
Tip # 10 – Explore the Idea of Creating Internal Apps
“While this [BYOD] has provided IT departments with a host of new security challenges, companies are now finding ways to work with the flow by creating and releasing proprietary, internal apps for smartphones and tablets; some even using their own app stores to do so. A recent survey of IT pros at 6,275 organizations found 66 percent were considering developing a corporate app store.”
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