We live in an increasingly interconnected world and the line between people’s work lives and their personal lives becomes blurrier every day. In the workplace, this “Work 3.0” culture translates to the common practice of employees using their personal technology (smartphones, laptops, etc.) to access the corporate wireless network both in the office and out of the office. It used to be that employees came in at 9 a.m. with their company issued cell phones to sit in their company-issued cubicles and work at their company-issued desktop computers. At five, those employees went home—and more or less left work at the workplace.
These days, thanks to the consumerization of technology, corporate employees have no reservations about accessing company information and enterprise via their own smartphones, tablets, and laptop computers from the office, from home, or from the coffee shop down the street. Check out this breakdown of employee behavior on personal devices:
While this culture enhances productivity and the flexibility of employee daily life, it presents a huge security challenge for IT professionals who must attempt to protect company information on a number of vastly different devices on and off of the network. It’s enough to make a CIO want to throw their hands up and ban all personal devices from accessing the server on the wireless network—which is a strategic option. The problem is that too many companies neglect to form any kind of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy at all, thus putting their sensitive data at great risk. Mitigate the risks associated with BYOD and reap the productivity benefits by following these three steps:
Define your policy
Weigh the pros and cons of BYOD for your business if you haven’t already. Are the productivity gains and the lower hardware costs worth the headache of Mobile Device Management (MDM) across myriad platforms for your IT department? Your policy is likely to fall in a grey area between total tech license for employees and total barring of non-company owned devices from the wireless network.
Promulgate your policy
You can develop the clearest, most reasonable BYOD policy out there, but if your employees are unaware of it, your efforts will be wasted. In our last blog post we talked about the importance of well-structured business-IT alignment, and the need for a top to bottom understanding of BYOD policy is a perfect example of why said alignment matters. When everyone is on the same page, your sensitive data is safer.
Enforce your policy
Once your BYOD policy is well known by all involved in the organization, enforcement of it becomes top priority. Of course, most of the continued implementation relies on experts in IT who must ensure that all firewalls and encryption mechanisms are in good working order.
How solid is your BYOD policy? Or perhaps it’s better to ask, how safe is your sensitive data on the wireless network? Let BCS provide you with a free IT consultation. We can help you decide the best course of action for a BYOD policy and provide wireless network monitoring solutions for your company. With these services, you can rest assured that no unauthorized device is infringing on your wireless network. Call us today. 757.497.1300.