How Businesses Can Protect Data with a BYOD Policy

December 5, 2013
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ImageA large concern for any company is the protection and security of intellectual property. There are a number of ways that companies can help mitigate the risk of information breaches, from non-disclosure, non-competitive clauses in employee contracts to strict security measures governing Internet and email usage.

ImageA large concern for any company is the protection and security of intellectual property. There are a number of ways that companies can help mitigate the risk of information breaches, from non-disclosure, non-competitive clauses in employee contracts to strict security measures governing Internet and email usage. With the ever-increasing adoption of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) workplace policies, and the potential risks that arise from such workplace environments, more and more companies have begun to implement BYOD security policies as well. Such measures allow companies to benefit from the flexibility that BYOD policies provide while greatly mitigating any risks.

BYOD Security Solutions – Protecting Your Network

The amount of privately-owned smartphones used in the workplace numbers in the hundreds of millions. Needless to say, businesses should implement best practices regarding the usage of these devices, not only so that they can actually benefit from their presence, but also so that any risks can be mitigated. Because smartphones and other mobile devices provide access to information from anywhere at any time, they have made the workplace more flexible and more mobile. Employees can now access emails, apps, and software from anywhere they have an Internet connection. However, it also means that information is dispersed and disseminated over the “air,” and this can pose risks if not properly managed. BYOD security solutions and tactics have been developed to help minimize these risks.

Which Option is Right for Your Business?

BYOD security solutions take a number of different forms, from software to tactics. There are a number of BYOD security systems available, many of which are offered by the very manufacturers of the mobile devices (such as the BlackBerry® Enterprise mobile device management system). Others, like Lookout®, are offered by third parties. More simply, there are also practices that employers and employees can take to help protect company information while getting the most out of their mobile devices.

Software – When it comes to mobile device management software, there are a number of different options to choose from. All aim to accomplish the same primary goals; that being providing a means of securing sensitive and proprietary data while allowing individuals to access company information and systems in an intuitive and effective manner. Features of these systems may differ from company to company, but many include fundamental features, such as: password protection, tracking systems, malware protection, lock and wipe, and dashboards.

Tactics – One of the easiest ways to secure sensitive data on a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet is by instituting a password. This simple step can prevent all but the most determined of individuals from accessing information from a lost or stolen device. It is simple steps like these that individuals can learn through proper training. Setting passwords, safe browsing techniques, safe downloading practices, and other beneficial practices can be taught – and should be. Smartphones and tablets are incredibly powerful tools, but they can also present risks. Through training, many of these risks can be eliminated.

Make Your Company’s BYOD Policy Work for You

Mobile computing is the future of business. Why not get on board now rather than later? When properly secured, and when employees are properly trained, the benefits afforded by a BYOD workplace policy far outweigh the potential risks. The BYOD workplace is more mobile, more flexible, and faster. And with data storage and data dissemination becoming increasingly cloud-based, the “disconnected” nature of mobile devices is cause for less concern. Whether you are a business owner, executive, or manager, you can make a BYOD workplace environment work to your benefit – the key is the simple and effective implementation of BYOD security solutions.