With most of us having access to more mobile devices than ever before, many businesses are adopting Bring Your Own Device, or BYOD schemes, in order to take advantage of this fact.
BYOD schemes help businesses cut down on equipment costs by using devices already owned by staff. This approach has demonstrably increased employee morale and productivity, as teams are empowered to work with equipment more familiar to them, removing the sometimes jarring experience of having to find a setting on an unfamiliar device.
There are clear benefits to BYOD schemes, but there are challenges to overcome when looking to implement one in your business. Firstly, you need to ensure that employees will have access to the resources needed on their device, and more importantly, you need to ensure that your network security isn’t compromised by an employee’s mobile device.
Ensure Compatibility and Resource Access
Compatibility may have been more of an issue in the past than today, but the reality is that many business-critical applications, especially bespoke solutions, do not work flawlessly across all platforms.
Senior management will, then, have to ensure that there are some device requirement policies and that they are enforced. Trying to get business-critical applications working on outdated employee devices is the stuff of nightmares for your IT department.
Resource accessibility is a little bit more complicated, as you have two different sets of resources: applications and data.
You probably have data solutions in place already, at least internally with network shares. If your BYOD policy intends to empower remote working, however, you will need to extend accessibility, likely through VPN access to your network, or a secure cloud solution.
For application accessibility, you may want to look into a MAM, or Mobile Application Management, system. MAM systems act as an ‘app store’ internal to your business, where you can make all business applications (whether off the shelf or bespoke), available to your employee’s devices.
Invest in Strong Security Solutions
Far more critical amidst the challenges created by BYOD schemes are the security implications of bringing personal devices onto your network. After all, each device is an access point for a malicious individual, as well as a potential site of a data breach.
To ensure that your network, and your data, remain secure, you will need to invest time and money in an effective MDM, or Mobile Device Management, system which includes strong endpoint security.
Endpoint Security means that each access point to your network, in this case, mobile device, has a high level of security. MDM systems give your IT staff the ability to manage security on staff devices, enforcing the use of antivirus and other security applications, as well as giving them the ability to remotely wipe sensitive data in the case of a lost or stolen device.
Going hand in hand with the software security has to be employee education, as even the best security systems in the world cannot prevent an attack that has been ‘let in’, as has been seen with the multiple 2017 ransomware attacks.
BYOD schemes are not the simplest to implement, but they have significant benefits provided that you pre-address their inherent challenges with the implementation of appropriate technologies and procedures.
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