Businesses should contemplate BYOD policy

December 19, 2014

The proliferation of BYOD has opened up a number of useful possibilities for employers across the globe. With the growing use of personal laptops, smartphones and tablets for work-related purposes, employees are mitigating their dependence on a certain location for daily production. For example, workers no longer need to sit by the same desk and rely on a landline phone system. On the other end of the spectrum, employers can save lots of money by decreasing the importance of internal phone and internet networks and allowing employees to use their own devices rather than company-funded technology.

However, as BYOD strategies become more commonplace in offices worldwide, employers would be wise to consider detailed policies. Without this kind of safeguard, salient company information could be put at risk of security breaches. When it comes to something as vital as internal information, it’s best to be proactive instead of reactive.

Why BYOD policy matters
Mark O’Neill, the vice president of innovation for Axway, told TechWeek Europe that BYOD is becoming a common talking point among business leaders because of the potential ramifications of this burgeoning workplace strategy.

“The thing about these devices is they have [application programming interfaces] that can connect to other systems, they might be tracking location, might be sending this information out,” O’Neill told the news source. “So as a business, you have this situation where your employees might literally be tracked and data gathered about them, and this information might be going through your corporate network.”

O’Neill said that companies have two options. They can either ignore this fact and proceed with their business as usual, or they can implement a descriptive code of conduct or policy.

A few tips for the BYOD workplace
Thiruvadinathan A, the director of security and compliance for the IT firm Happiest Minds, told Business News Daily that a clear email security policy would serve as a good first step. Considering the sheer volume of important information that goes through email systems, employers should establish certain messaging boundaries.

“By limiting the retention of email on a device, management can make [the] passage of time work to their advantage,” he told the publication. “If a device without a retention policy was accessed by a malicious user, potentially years of email can be exposed.”

He also suggested that employers and IT managers should implement access authentication barriers and other network defense layers. Then, after implementing these defense mechanisms, the general overseers of the business  should do their best to enforce the measures.