BYOD is not scary as you thought it would be?

Security concerns often hamper the adaptation of Bring Your Own Device or BYOD strategies in corporate IT environments. With BYOD, employees are given the choice to work with their own convenient device. The major disadvantage pointed out by CIO’s, security experts and a whole lot of folks in the IT industry is that with BYOD, sensitive enterprise information is accessed by consumer devices brought by their employees i.e. BYOD gives rise to consumerisation of business data. This is indeed an issue, but should BYOD be rejected simply because of that?

We’ll take ‘No’ as an answer for that. If you ask us why, then it is because of the numerous benefits such a policy brings to IT houses. Some of the most important advantages BYOD offers include

  • Reduced infrastructural cost as employees cover device cost on their own
  •  Improved productivity thanks to convenient device choices for employees
  •  More flexible work conditions as employees can even work from home

You might think that these are cosmetic advantages, but in reality they are not. Employee productivity would increase to a good extent if they are given the opportunity to work with a device of their choice. It is because; they would be very technologically familiar with their own device and thus get to work in a comfort zone.

When a company entertains BYOD policies, then studies have shown that close to 44% of prospective job seekers would find their offer more attractive than the ones who do not entertain BYOD.  So this really helps your HR team in the recruitment process.

Rather than giving a thumbs-down on BYOD for its risks, enterprises can strategically mitigate through the challenges facing BYOD.

When enterprise data or specifically highly sensitive business information is to be accessed by an employee, the biggest issue is that on their personal devices, they would skip password protection. Ensuring that employees turn on their device’s password protection capabilities for enterprise applications will allay a lot of fear in this regard. These passwords also need to be monitored by the IT department and users should be encouraged to change them periodically.

Another dangerous scenario is the possibility of malicious apps accessing corporate data on user devices. Making BYOD policies that restrict the type of apps that reside on a user’s device is not a proper solution as it could frustrate employees.

Rather than going for severe measures, companies can make use of an effective MDM (Mobile Device Management) solution to manage the apps which can have access to enterprise data as well as those which deter productivity. Employees could be instructed not to use apps such as Facebook, YouTube, etc while on their desk during peak work hours.

When employees are given the liberty to choose their own devices, proper monitoring of device changes and upgrades should be conducted by the IT department. A good number of threats arise because employees gradually change their smartphones or tablets with time and no one monitors the new device for policy requirements. Follow up of policy implementation periodically can easily solve this problem. For example, if a corporate asset such as the company email system is to be accessed via a user device, then the BYOD policy should strictly ensure that it is only accessed via a secure MDM solution rather than open access.

For heavy enterprise applications, there is often the need for consistent bandwidth availability. Enterprises can encourage use of office provided internet connectivity since most corporate internet data plans offer a large bandwidth. Hence devices do not face bandwidth restrictions they are likely to face if users work from their own data services.

In short BYOD is a trend that can be safely encouraged in enterprises if they can devise a clever usage policy and also make use of an effective MDM solution.

If building secure MDM solutions for enterprise needs is your Achilles’ heel, then drop us a line today. Our engineers can create the most secure mobility management solutions for your enterprise to empower BYOD culture in your organization. Get in touch with us today.