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BYOD Employee Policies & Acceptable Use Guidelines

Posted 10 months ago

BYOD Employee Policies: Bring Your Own Device Best Practices, Acceptable Use Policies, and Getting Your Employees to Buy In to the Company Policy

BYOD, or Bring Your Own Device, company policies bring a whole host of benefits with them, but security does become a valid concern. When you implement such a policy, it is vital to ensure that your employees adhere to your BYOD security policies and acceptable use policies, which may be no easy task. After all, they bought the devices, so they should be able to use them as they please, right?

That kind of mentality puts your essential company data at risk, so getting everyone on board with BYOD employee guidelines is critical to creating and implementing a successful program that provides maximum benefits for you, optimum security for your data, and workplace satisfaction for your employees. Therefore, we have put together a quick guide to the types of guidelines that should be in place with your BYOD policies and how to get your employees to comply.

Set Up a Clear Allow/Ban List for Devices and Applications

When you choose to have a BYOD policy in your workplace, what types of devices your employees use and what types of applications they have on them are of more importance than you might think. “Jailbroken” devices, for example, have several security vulnerabilities that can put your business data at risk. Certain messengers and free apps can also have malware or other liabilities that can leave the device open to compromise. By putting together a clear, specific list of devices and applications that are allowed and banned, you help prevent these vulnerabilities from existing in the first place and keep your business data secure, so long as your employees adhere to these rules.

Employ and Enforce Proper Security Protocols on Individual Devices

Create and enforce clear and specific security protocols for the individual devices your employees choose to use for work purposes. Examples include:

  • Device operating systems, anti-malware programs, firmware, software, anti-virus programs, etc. should be kept up-to-date to prevent known vulnerabilities from being exploited.
  • Devices used to access business networks should also be required to have a screen lock password to prevent swipe-and-go access by anybody who comes across the device. It is recommended that you require a password stronger than the typical four-digit PIN.
  • Employees should regularly back up device data through pre-approved methods in order to prevent issues and complications should a device be lost or stolen and require a remote wipe.
  • Employees should frequently run anti-virus and anti-malware scans on all devices that are used to access business networks.
  • All business network access should be carried out through a VPN (virtual private network) to ensure data transmission is secure.

Formulate and Have Employees Sign a BYOD Agreement Regarding the BYOD Acceptable Use Policy from the Beginning

A little bit of ink in the beginning of a program can save you a lot of headaches later on. In partnership with your legal team, put together a BYOD agreement every year starting with the onset of your program that employees have to sign annually. In this agreement, make it clear who owns what apps and data and whether or not you assert the right to remotely wipe the device if it is lost or stolen. Make sure this document includes a waiver of liability resulting from deleting employee personal data or applications in the event a remote wipe is required. This document should include the guidelines, repercussions for not following them, etc., and it should be reviewed and updated yearly to accommodate any changes in your BYOD policy.

Don’t Wait to Establish the Rules; Launch Your BYOD Policy with Guidelines in Place

Once employees start using personal devices for work without rules, it may be hard to get them to start following rules that are put into place later. Getting employees to buy in to BYOD employee policy guidelines is much easier if they are established at the launch of the BYOD program. Prior to even mentioning that a BYOD program may be implemented at your company, you should thoroughly consider all of the rules and repercussions and articulate them carefully so that they are ready to distribute upon the introduction of the BYOD program itself.

Don’t Just Leave It On Paper; Have BYOD Security Training Seminars

If you just send out an e-mail or pamphlet with your BYOD guidelines and acceptable use policies, it’s much more likely that either employees will not fully read the guidelines or the guidelines won’t stick. Have in-person seminars in the very beginning of your BYOD program to explain your guidelines and why employees should follow them. Explain how they play a key part in keeping the company data secure and why these policies are important. Hold seminars on a regular basis after the institution of your BYOD program in order to reinforce existing Bring Your Own Device employee policies and to bring employees up to speed on any changes or updates in security protocols. Taking these steps make employees much more likely to adhere to these policies.

Have a Comprehensive BYOD Security Policy in Place to Keep Your Business Data Safe

BYOD employee policies require a great deal of thought and planning before the program can be executed, making them much more involved than some might initially believe. However, they can have extraordinary business benefits, including higher productivity and cost savings. It’s also important to have the IT infrastructure in place to keep your business secure when you have BYOD policies in place. Customer 1st Communications has years of experience helping clients establish an efficient and secure IT infrastructure. We can establish security protocols on your cloud and data servers to minimize the security risks associated with Bring Your Own Device policies. For more information or for a free consultation, contact us here or call 855-TECH-C1C (855-832-4212).

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