Back in the day – around about ten years ago – bring your own device or BYOD represented a bold move reflecting the new relationship technology played in people’s work and personal lives and the shift to a more mobile and always on work culture. Led by employee demand for the same level of technology performance at work as they enjoy at home, companies began to figure out how to allow employees’ smartphones, tablets, and laptop devices to access corporate networks while ensuring the infrastructure remains secure.
From an employer’s point of view, BYOD represented something of a having your cake and eating it moment. Once security issues have been mitigated, it provides the opportunity to support enterprise mobility, placate employees by allowing them to use the technology they prefer, and reap employee engagement and productivity gains from happy motivated staff.
BYOD now commonplace and expected in many workplaces
As remote work has become more ingrained in mainstream work patterns, businesses have upped the ante when it comes to mastering security concerns by using BYOD policies to form a bridge between both employer and employee expectations. They allow staff members to use devices of their choosing subject to certain rules while employers can impose certain security protocols and device limitations to protect sensitive data.
In general, most employees welcome BYOD and find it conducive to a more productive workplace. The convenience of BYOD for enterprise mobility means employees can use their favoured devices to access documents, emails, voicemail, messages, video meetings, and so on, from just about anywhere, anytime. Meanwhile, companies save money on hardware, software, device maintenance, and licensing but still get to take advantage of the upgraded technologies in the workplace.
Of course, employees still expect to draw a line between work and play and it’s important for companies to be clear about BYOD expectations and address security and privacy risks. The following points are central to developing robust BYOD policies:
To limit the collection of data that is not related to business activities from employee devices, it’s essential to create business and personal data segregation.
Developing disclosure policies is foundational to meeting and maintaining employee transparency. Policies must set out the scope of the company’s access and the purpose of the access, address how it will go about protecting the employee’s private information, and set protocols around how data is stored on the device.
Work for work
Regardless of personal device usage and access, employees are still expected to keep work for work. Helping employees minimise personal activity while at work comes down to promoting a good work/life balance and emphasising company policies related to personal account usage.
It is important for organisations to obtain employee consent for any monitoring and software related to their device. Employees need to be aware of BYOD policies and understand monitoring and data acquisition that may occur via their device. Awareness is a requirement of consent.
Once your BYOD systems and processes are in place, it’s essential to provide ongoing employee training on the importance of acceptable use as well as basic data security hygiene. Without regular training and ongoing guidance on security, the sensitive data on personal devices could be at considerable risk of phishing and social engineering attacks.
The imei difference
The best way to streamline BYOD management is to adopt a unified endpoint management system that provides a centralised platform to manage devices and enforce necessary settings and configurations on employees’ personal devices. imei can help you support enterprise mobility and adopt BYOD as part of your company’s culture. Get in touch to find out more.