As tablets and wearable devices become more prolific, it looks like the BYOD (bring your own device) phenomenon is here to stay. To learn what executives and managers should be doing to keep their organizations safe and streamlined, I connected with Bill Carey of Siber Systems (creators of BYOD apps RoboForm and Goodsync) to share the most common danger zones and their solutions.
Danger Zone: All apps welcome
Allowing your employees to download whatever they want leaves your enterprise vulnerable to viruses as well as data storage and productivity issues. Create your own “app store” so employees know what’s available (and not available) to them. If you are going to allow certain non work-related apps on BYOD devices, establish boundaries so employees cannot access those apps on your network. And while we’re on the subject of employee choice, you can give them the freedom to select their own devices – within limits. The last thing you need is a jail-broken iPhone crawling around your network.
Danger Zone: All hands on or all hands off
Employees dislike location tracking, or for employers to know too much about their exact activities and whereabouts. But leaving employees to their own devices (forgive the pun) is not an option if you want to properly protect confidential company information. The answer? You must find a happy medium that allows regular monitoring of employee access while preserving some semblance of their privacy. Talk with your colleagues at similar organizations practicing BYOD to gain insights into workable policies.
Danger Zone: Lack of synchronization
Remember the version control problems of old? Well, unprotected data silos are a BYOD manager’s worst nightmare. Fortunately, by using a file-based synchronization and backup solution, you can synchronize work folders and files automatically to ensure that they are protected and current. Synchronization operations should cover desktops, laptops, servers, mobile devices and external drives. You should also make use of a password manager like RoboForm, for all devices participating in BYOD. This will keep all files secure no matter what device they are being stored on.
Danger Zone: Roam where you want to
Trusting your employees is essential, but you don’t want to be so laissez-faire that they take advantage of that trust. When it comes to the intersection of technology and the workplace, it pays to be skeptical, and companies that don’t track BYOD employees’ data, texting, and roaming usage are setting themselves up for loads of excesses. Although it involves more work for you, you must put yourself in a position to know immediately if an employee is racking up unauthorized expenses on his or her device.
Do you allow BYOD? What learnings can you share?