By: Katie Johns
BYOD is making a lot of enterprises panic. Bring Your Own Device is a policy where people working in an enterprise can work from anywhere, anytime on whoever device they prefer. It’s time to bid adieu to desktop bound employees. Wikipedia wonderfully defines it as Bring your own device (BYOD)—also called bring your own technology (BYOT), bring your own phone (BYOP), and bring your own personal computer (BYOPC)—refers to the policy of permitting employees to bring personally owned devices (laptops, tablets, and smart phones) to their workplace, and to use those devices to access privileged company information and applications.
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BYOD is becoming a norm for enterprises across the globe. People prefer to work on devices and systems that they are familiar with. Enterprises have started to provide this facility for improved job satisfaction, productivity and morale. The challenge is to maintain security and confidentiality but it’s no longer possible for IT companies to put too many restrictions on the workforce in terms of accessibility to work related information.
It is, of course, necessary to have regulations in place to ensure security and confidentiality but, in most cases, employees just want to be able to get on with their jobs and restricting their access too tightly can lead to a frustrated – and therefore unproductive – workforce.
How do you ensure that BYOD policy is not a threat to your data and confidential information?
If your enterprise uses Office 365, it will help you with some added benefits. It offers a starter toolset to capitalize and enable Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). It requires constant monitoring to ensure that all security regulations are met. You also need to educate people working in your enterprise to understand the security rules and how important it is to abide by the regulations.
Here are a few tips that you can use to ensure that you maintain your data security and confidentiality even if your employees are bringing their own device.
1. Password Safety
It’s important for employees to understand password safety norms. Mobile, tablet or desktop – it can be any of these devices but it’s the responsibility of the employee to ensure that it’s protected with a strong password.
There should be a policy to change the password at regular intervals.
2. Security Updates
The BYOD application must enforce employees to backup and update their systems (with the latest security policies, software and other updates) regularly. If an employee runs their device on an old version of the software, it can result in vulnerabilities. If OS, software and applications are updated regularly, the patches for each of these get updated as well.
Office 365 users, however, don’t have to worry about the updates as the latest versions are updated automatically. It ensures that all devices (includes mobiles, tablets and desktops) that are used for the enterprise are protected from any data threats or vulnerabilities.
3. Track apps and programs
There must be a mutually agreed list of software and programs that employees can install on their devices. It doesn’t end there as IT security professionals must keep a track of how 2 applications or programs interact with each other (and if there are any possible threats to the company data due to that).
If you’re an Office 365 Business Premium user, you will have all required apps (like all Microsoft’s popular business applications) already available to you. One Drive can be used for data storage, which limits unauthorized access to any data.
4. Regular Audits
BYOD audit normally ensures that all enterprise security norms are adhered to and regulations are met for all the devices that are used by employees. It is also a time to assess any loop holes in the BYOD policy and bring about the changes/ updates as required.
5. Employee exit
Whenever employees leave the enterprise, the BYOD policy must ensure a complete or partial erase of all company related data. Before the employee exits, ensure that no document or data is left on the employee’s device.
Office 365 has a provision to deal with this situation in the form of Mobile Device Management or MDM. It enables remote deletion of data from the employee’s mobile. It can enable a factory reset of the device, if required. MDM also enforces a password policy, and implements mailbox policies. It can configure security setting for the employee’s device as well. It gives a greater control to administrators and ensures foolproof security for company data.
Office 365 is perfect to promote a collaborate culture and give the BYOD benefit to your employees. It’s hugely beneficial for people who wish to take their work anywhere and even work in an offline mode.
Office 365 is known to be Microsoft’s fastest growing business and promotes the culture of BYOD in the modern enterprise. If you’re thinking of migrating to Office 365 easily, help is just a click away. Please contact us.