The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) movement is changing expectations for businesses and employees. It has the ability to cut employer expenses and to give employees easier access to work materials anywhere they go. Unfortunately, it also creates a host of potential security concerns that your organization needs to be prepared for – particularly if compliance is an issue. You can combat these potential problems by creating and enforcing corporate regulations around how BYOD is going to work for your company – but how exactly to begin?
Whether you are thinking of implementing BYOD at your company soon or simply looking into the future of an increasingly connected workplace, it’s never too early to start thinking about how you’re going to handle the regulations that will keep your data secure. The regulations your company creates will be based on the specifics of your organization – your industry, business model, and the type of data assets you need protected. In most cases you’ll need to consult with your legal and compliance team for a more complete understanding of the ramifications of implementing BYOD at your firm.
STEPS TO CREATE CORPORATE REGULATION AROUND BYOD
Step 1 will be about gathering information. What kind of devices do you want to allow? What kind of (company) data will be stored on those devices? Which employees will be granted BYOD privileges? What (if any) compliance standards does your company need to meet? Answering some or all of these questions first will provide an important framework for the regulations you’ll be putting in place.
Step 2 is making a comprehensive plan for data protection. You’ll need to ask yourself more questions like following: What data can and can’t be accessed via an employee-managed device? What specific brands and operating systems will my company support? What happens when a device is lost or when an employee leaves the firm? Simply, how can our employees protect their devices? The answers to these “deeper dive” questions will make up the meat of your corporate policy. Legal counsel can help explain some of the more nuanced aspects of data protection issues under the law and introduce you to some potential solutions – for instance “concierge” software exists which, when installed on a device, allows your company to control certain specific data and its security on that particular device.
Step 3 will be about enforcement of these regulations. Regulations don’t mean much if you can’t ensure that they are being consistently followed! You’ll need a solid plan for how to handle a number of different situations that are likely to arise. Keeping enforcement in mind will also help you draft realistic (and in some cases flexible) regulations for your company.
The bottom line about BYOD is that while it is increasingly becoming the norm it is not to be taken lightly – you will need policies in place to avoid the major pitfalls and your organization’s preparation is the key to a smooth rollout. Taking the time to create meaningful and enforceable corporate regulation around BYOD will definitely pay dividends in the long term.
If you have more questions we encourage you to contact Bi101 for a free consultation on your specific needs!