Protect You and Your Business By Enforcing ‘BYOD’ Policies

What a difference one letter can make.

That’s what separates employees from getting wasted on the job and wasting time on their smartphone.

“Bring your own device,” or “BYOD,” policies are here to stay as a mobile-capable workforce has become more commonplace in the small-business world. Such strategies allow employees to bring personal devices to the office or work remotely with cloud access to company and client information.

However, while Income.com is more than aware of the benefits BYOD practices can bring to the business, they also create the potential for private company and customer data to be hacked by less-than-scrupulous users.

That’s why it’s important you take the necessary measures to mitigate such risks, including requiring passwords, stipulating what devices are allowed and what data can be accessed, and training employees.

Beef Up Password Security

Passwords are required at about every step of the way in technological functions, but they don’t do much good when they’re about as easy as 1-2-3 … 4-5.

Even worse than an inferior password? No device-locking measure at all, which is cause for concern for small businesses. A study by NQ Mobile found one-third of smartphone and tablet users who have lost a device or had it stolen did not implement a security measure on their current device.

In order to protect sensitive information from prying eyes as best as an entrepreneur can, it’s essential you enforce stringent passcode policies. Ensure each employee-owned device has some type of security check. Four-numbered PIN codes are OK, but if you really want to step it up, require longer alphanumeric passwords or custom pattern swipe-locks that many smart devices now allow for.

‘iCan’t Bring My Phone To Work’

Sometimes, it’s in the best interests of the small-business owner to regulate what devices are allowed to be used under a BYOD policy. Some may find iPhones too easy to break into, or are wary of Android devices. Whatever the personal preferences may be, owners have to make it clear which devices are allowed and which ones are not.

Engage Employees on Policy

While the very nature and purpose of BYOD policies is to extend more freedom to employees and let them operate on their own, you can’t set them off on their own when starting a BYOD policy without first taking the proper outreach and education steps.

“It’s probably not good enough just to have a policy,” said Matt Kosht, IT manager at SEMCO Energy, in an interview with Tech Target. “You have to educate your users about how to protect data, no matter where they use it.”

Income.com knows BYOD can improve efficiency and productivity, while also cutting costs in some areas, but it’s all for naught if you don’t take the initiative to develop an airtight policy to protect private data. Passwords are a must, so too are allowable device lists and employee education efforts. Don’t be the next small business to have their website hit by a data breach because you glossed over the specifics of the policy.