5 Things every BYOD policy should cover to maintain information security

5 Things every BYOD policy should cover to maintain information security

Mobile technology has transformed the modern workplace beyond recognition but, in spite of its many business benefits, it also introduces a raft of security challenges. Portable devices are at a greater risk of getting lost or stolen, and the value of the data stored in them exceeds the value of the device itself. Access to even a tiny amount of confidential data could cost your company thousands in data breach fines and penalties.

Allowing employees to use their own smartphones and tablets for work reduces costs and boosts productivity, but it’s a strategy that must be carefully managed. If you want a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy to succeed, you need to maintain control and access to corporate data.

Here are five crucial things every BYOD policy should cover:

Multifactor authentication

According to Pew Research, well over a quarter of Americans don’t use a PIN code to lock their smartphone screens. But that’s not all, people have developed a variety of other terrible security habits, such as using easy-to-guess passwords, or reusing passwords for multiple accounts.

Enforcing something called multifactor authentication is the only practical way to shed the reliance on passwords for both you and your employees. You’ll still need to enforce a strong password policy, but multifactor authentication adds an additional layer of verification by requiring fingerprint scans, SMS codes sent to another user device, or anything else that makes it harder for hackers to gain unauthorized access.

Remote administration

The biggest challenge facing businesses that want to implement a BYOD policy is the fact that you can’t legally or ethically control how people use their own devices. No one’s going to sign up to your BYOD policy if they think it involves surrendering their privacy or control over their devices.

Since you still need full control over and visibility when it comes to your corporate data, you’ll want a mobile device management solution to keep business data and personal data separate. Additionally, you must have the ability to remotely wipe apps and information in case the device is lost or stolen.

Data encryption

The portable nature of smartphones, tablets, and even laptops makes them prime targets for thieves. In many cases, a thief has no interest in the confidential corporate data a device stores, but almost every government regulation pertaining to consumer privacy makes zero distinction. If an unauthorized party can access regulated data, you’ve been breached.

To keep your data safe, you must encrypt it with AES-256 encryption. Then you can be sure that if anyone gets a hold of it, they can’t read it without a separate decryption key.

Whitelisted apps and devices

All it takes to fall victim to a disastrous data breach is a single unsecured device or application. Although Google’s Play Store and Apple’s App Store try to keep malicious software off their platforms, they can’t guarantee the enterprise-grade protection required in the workplace.

The security and effectiveness of any BYOD policy depends on the devices and applications your employees use. For this reason, you’ll need to prohibit things like jailbroken iPhones and devices running outdated operating systems. Also, you’ll need to create a whitelist of apps that are allowed to access corporate data.

Clear exit strategy

A common cause of major data breaches is when an employee leaves the company but retains access to corporate information on devices previously used for work. There’s also the fact that some employees might change their minds and decide they no longer want to be included in your BYOD policy.

For legal and ethical reasons, any BYOD policy should be optional. – iIf an employee wishes to use their own device for work, they’ll have to agree to your policy. If not, the only other option should be to use a company-owned device instead. Regardless of the situation, you still need a clearly defined exit strategy for deleting business data on the device without compromising the owner’s personal data or purchased apps.

The team at Kumo helps businesses empower employee productivity and satisfaction with BYOD solutions that they can depend on. Our experts take the time to get to know what our customers need and what works for them. You don’t have to worry about anything, as we will walk you through the process and come up with the best solution to meet your requirements.

Call us today if you’re ready to boost efficiency and improve your bottom line with great technology and industry-leading expertise.

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