BYOD management in the workplace: Do you need it?
The increase in BYOD usage at work justifies the need for organizations and employees to manage their devices.
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Oct 4, 2022
8 min read
We are no longer limited by the technology of our time. Now that we know how it feels to live in isolation from our colleagues and remain distant yet stay digitally connected from our workspaces. It’s time to figure out how to be productive again. Should location define the way we work or let it affect our productivity? NO! So let’s bring our own devices and get work done.
Yes! All the big companies are doing it and you can do it too. Bring Your Own Devices, or BYOD refers to the paradigm where employees bring their own devices to work to not only access company resources but also complete the tasks, we set out for them during the day.
It’s not that simple. Employees can’t bring in any device they want and demand access to data which is privy to the organisation. There are protocols and a set of norms to follow. If you’re not completely sure what BYOD entails for your company, look at this.
Nothing interesting is ever wholly one-sided, even the best BYOD policies are like double-edged swords.
The new hybrid work model has not only accelerated the means to get work done from any nook and corner of the world but also opened new exposed nodes. As stakeholders, we must keep our empire secure. It should be at the top of the list of priorities, becoming even more critical when we need to accommodate remote working arrangements. The few downsides that BYOD brings to the table are,
Due to employees bringing their own devices, there isn’t going to be consistency in the type of device each employee might bring. John might be inclined to use Android for the freedom it offers him, while Jane might want to use iOS because it has a unique UI. In such situations, the employer must cater to the different requirements each device might entail to allow for an impartial BYOD policy for every employee.
Everyone needs a break from work, but there are people in the crowd who take a break to work. As the employees are not monitored physically by anyone in the comfort of their own homes, they can be easily distracted by something going on in their environment. Using kiosk modes that are provided by UEMs can help focus the employee on the task at hand and not allow access to 3rd party websites and software.
Protection against theft and other physical damages is not a guarantee in remote working arrangements. To further aggravate the situation, sometimes an employee might not be able to continue working if he doesn’t have a backup device to use in the meantime.
It becomes crucial to remove all confidential business data from all devices when an employee leaves your company while participating in a BYOD programme. Accessing personal devices may be challenging, though, because some employees could consider it an invasion of their privacy.
You might also have to keep in mind the data security, both personal and corporate data
Now that you know the risks, let’s skip to the good part. There are quite a few steps to establishing BYOD within a hybrid environment.
Look into the needs of the employee to be productive while not being chained to a single workspace, figure out what data should be accessible to the employee, and what kind of sensitive data can the employee use to get work done on the go. You’ll need to research the devices the employees already use and the devices they want to use and the operating systems you want to allow in your BYOD policy so that it works cohesively with your existing ecosystem.
Define the extent to which you monitor the employee’s device. Separate corporate and personal data. Use the BYOD policy to clearly explain to the employees what data will be monitored and what will remain theirs to keep private.
Data storage should also be one of the factors to keep in mind while considering a BYOD Architecture. Deciding whether the data is being stored on the cloud, locally or in a hybrid arrangement changes how the data is separated and how data privacy is ensured. The way the data is stored will also establish the need to use data management tools to segregate corporate and personal data.
Figure out what data should be accessible to the employee, and what kind of sensitive data can the employee use to get work done on the go.
When implementing BYOD, the edge of your company is the end user devices which the employees use to access company data. Using policies that not only help to keep the company data secure but also the personal data of the employee secure establishes the first line of defence against threats. Devices that are considered non-compliant should not be allowed access to company data until the compliance requirements are fulfilled. If proper access policies are not set in place, then it not only increases risk but also creates new attack gateways for potential threats.
You can further streamline the process by using UEM software like Hexnode. Hexnode is considered to be the best when it comes to remote device management. Being compliant with the latest standards in the tech society, Hexnode helps keep your company devices secure by having features like remote lockdown and Lost mode. This allows the company to lock down the device to protect it from potential data leaks and gives the company a Vibranium shield.
If onboarding BYOD devices prove to be a herculean task for IT admins, then, it is going to pose some issues. Employees will tend to start using unauthorised personal devices which can be detrimental to the company if left unchecked. An easy-to-use Onboarding process allows employees to feel unburdened while getting approval for BYOD and can further ensure that company policy-compliant devices are the ones accessing classified data.
Eliminate long forms and avoid a paper trail which can confuse even the Sheldon Coopers of the corporate world.
Automate anything and everything you can. Keep it simple by asking the employee to submit a short request which entails the details of the device and other critical information.
Some employers reimburse their employers for bringing their own devices. Whether you choose to reimburse the employees or not is completely up to you. No matter which path you choose to take, explicitly stating it in the BYOD policy can clear up any confusion which may arise in the future and can prevent any workplace conflict. Be very specific on what charges the employer will be responsible for, consequently, if there are any unforeseen charges then the organisation may or may not be liable for them.
Keeping the policy updated with the latest technology and stopping support for legacy devices and operating systems is important to protect against potential threats that may leverage unforeseeable loopholes which can lead to cyber-attacks.
Your company’s size isn’t always going to remain the same. Plan to scale your BYOD policy to adjust to any size.
No, not Reuse, Refuse and Recycle. We’re talking about Revise, Review and Resolve and Implement.
Revise the BYOD policy before sending it for review to the stakeholders, any changes you feel may be needed can be done at this stage before it’s reviewed by the stakeholders of the company.
Before employees have the chance to use the new BYOD policy, it must be reviewed by the stakeholders, if there isn’t a difference in opinion and they give their approval, we can move forward and start to implement the policy
Any changes proposed by the stakeholders should be resolved and then the BYOD policy can be implemented throughout the company.
Now you know how to implement the BYOD policy in your company. Employees may complete tasks regardless of where they are in the world.
BYOD is worthy in the eyes of its beholder; you decide how well you implement the BYOD policies in your organisation. Also, check out this online journal which further elucidates why you need BYOD.
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