As technology evolves and becomes more personal with the use of high-tech smartphones and tablets, more and more businesses and organizations are facing issues related to device management. If you have finally decided that all the benefits of a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy are worth the investment, then it is time to create and implement this policy.
Believe it or not, this is often easier said than done.
If you are ready to make this change, then you’ll need some tips to help with a smooth and seamless integration.
Solidify Your Password Policy
When you finally “open the flood gates” and approve a BYOD policy, you are going to have a large number of people using devices on the network. You don’t want weak passwords. Hackers can easily access these devices and they access your company’s data.
As a result, you need to ensure that you instate a strong password policy – and enforce it, too. Also, be sure that you require regular password changes. While end users may balk at this at first, in the long run, it’s well worth the additional security it provides.
Require BYOD Device Registration
You must register every single device that your users introduce into the organization. What information should you collect? This list provides you with a general idea:
- The user
- Specific device type
- The carrier (if applicable)
- The MAC address
When you have this information, you’ll be better armed to find users who may be abusing your BYOD policy. When you have a list of the MAC addresses for all the devices, you will also have the ability to block any offending user from accessing or using your network.
Limit the Platforms Supported
As mentioned earlier, when you finally allow a BYOD program in your organization, you may find that you have to support a wide array of platforms. That can include ChromeOS, Blackberry, Android, iOS, OS X, Linux, and Windows. This can put a huge (and unnecessary) burden on your staff.
Rather than taking this risk, figure out what platform you plan to support and make sure the end users know it. If a user brings in a platform that’s not supported, don’t allow them to access the network.
Provide Employee Education
You need to make sure that your employees understand all the risks associated with BYOD. They should know how important it is to keep their anti-malware and anti-virus software up to date. They should also know how to keep all data secure on their devices while ensuring that they never use the devices on an unsecured network.
You could even make this staff education a class on mobile security – which would be extremely beneficial for any company. However, you need to take the time to provide this education to avoid the ramifications of having an end user that unknowingly opens the network to exploitation.
Expand Your Existing Infrastructure
With more people having devices on-hand and in-use, your company is going to use much more bandwidth. This means you will need a network with plenty of bandwidth capacity to handle the influx of traffic.
Rather than having to deal with a bottleneck on your network, be sure you have the right equipment in place that can handle the load, too. Don’t rely on the consumer grade wireless routers.
Increase Your Network Security
With BYOD in place, you will have to secure your network. BYOD allows for a much bigger attack surface – that is, points within your network that intruders can exploit.
What does this mean for you?
It means that you’ll no longer be able to rely on the built-in firewalls and security software alone. Instead, purchase an actual hardware-based firewall and ensure to deploy it effectively. You should also invest in proactive network scanning technology that will detect and prevent threats before they have a chance to strike.
Create a Reliable Company Cloud
Rather than opting to have your remote users (that are using the BYOD devices) trying to access your company’s internal network, you can have them work in a secure cloud. In practice, that means having them work and collaborate in a shared space (such Office 365) to securely connect to company files.
Create a BYOD Policy
Creating a BYOD policy is perhaps one of the most important and valuable steps you can take. Make sure to consider the factors here and implement the rules and regulations that will ensure your end users can enjoy this new policy, all while ensuring everything remains safe and secure.
Being informed is the best way to ensure that your BYOD plan and policy are well-accepted and that they are followed by the end users who will gain all the benefits it has to offer.
If you’re looking for BYOD implementation advice, you can turn to the professionals at AnchorSix. We can help you prepare and deploy the right technology for your growing business that will give you the BYOD infrastructure you need.