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4 Tips for Managing Data in BYOD Environment

With the rise of smartphone, BYOD or Bring your Own Device has become an unstoppable force and it certainly can’t be ignored by businesses. Many companies have already started realising that BYOD, if managed properly, can offer real benefits.

According to Crowd’s research, 12.1 billion mobile devices will be in use by 2018 as well as half of the globe’s employers will require BYOD by 2017. The research also found that 67% of CIOs as well as IT professionals are convinced that mobility will impact their businesses as much, or more, than the Internet did in the 1990s.

The benefits of BYOD are numerous. Crowd found that a BYOD approach provides:

  • Cost savings
  • Increased mobility
  • Productivity boost
  • Improved employee satisfaction

However, BYOD has its downside too. Data security is the biggest concern for BYOD. This is the main reason why still many organizations are hesitant to deploy BYOD in their workplace.

BYOD can be deployed effectively providing there are adequate measures in place to prevent misuse of devices as well as data breaches.

Here are some data security tips for companies with BYOD:

It is important to control data access

It is important for companies to have full control of the corporate data that is being accessed by their employees on their mobile devices. An effective BYOD scheme must be able to satisfy productivity as well as the need for accessibility while keeping the data of company completely secure. There should be a Mobile Device Management or MDM system, which enables companies to control the data that can be accessed by devices as well as apps. Also there should be Mobile Application Management or MAM that ensures data security as well as integrity for the complete BYOD environment to stay protected. It is also important for organizations to set up a secure virtual private network (VPN) as well as protection policies when it comes to emails.

Don’t forget to set a clear usage policy 

Setting a well-defined & clear usage policy is very important. While using corporate data on mobile devices, employees should be aware of their responsibilities as well as limitations. End-users must also know the responsible way of backing up their data & keeping their personal devices safe from physical as well as cyber threats.

When establishing a BYOD policy, consider the following factors:

  • Decide which apps are allowed & banned
  • Specify the devices that are permitted
  • Clarify who owns what apps & data
  • Define a clear service policy for devices
  • Establish a strict security policy

Also include a remote wipe clause

If the mobile devices that your employees are using are lost or stolen, or employees are terminated, your IT team needs to wipe the device in order to protect network security. But then what will happen to the personal data such as contacts, photos, etc that are also on that device? Your responsibility is to protect your enterprise data, not your employees’ personal data. So mention it clearly in your BYOD policy that employees are responsible for backing up their personal data, as well as identify those instances when you have the right to lock down & remotely wipe a device.

Using a single and secure OS is better

Managing BYOD becomes easier when you are only looking at a single platform to control but if your employees use different OS, it becomes difficult for the IT department to manage as they will have to work on separate security codes for each OS. Hence, it is always better to use a single & secure OS. Some OS have cutting-edge security as well as privacy features that help organizations keep their valuable data safe.

In a nutshell

The use of personal devices in the workplace is unavoidable. However, with proper security policies as well as practices, you can definitely take control as well as secure Your BYOD Network.

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