Putting a strong BYOD policy into practice

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A strong security policy, complemented with the right tools and technology, can set an enterprise up for success with BYOD.

Driven by a number of advantages, bring-your-own-device policies are gathering steam in the enterprise. In fact, by 2017, 50 percent of companies will require their workers to procure their own machines to use on the job.

However, the trend can also create some significant complications, making security more difficult to manage and requiring IT teams to consider how they can oversee a diverse range of operating systems and devices. For example, Android users currently draw on more than 13 distinct operating systems.

On the security front, mobile malware increased by 167 percent last year, representing a growing threat. Furthermore, when workers use their own devices, the chance of losing them or experiencing a theft increases: Almost half of companies have received notification that mobile gadgets containing corporate information went missing.

But these challenges don’t mean that organizations should turn their backs on BYOD. In fact, embracing the trend and meeting it head-on with a strong plan is the best way to take advantage of its benefits while reducing the dangers of shadow IT.

A strong security policy, complemented with the right tools and technology, can set an enterprise up for success with BYOD. To develop a robust strategy, decision-makers must consider everyone’s needs within the company – including the organization’s goals and requirements. Establishing guidelines or restrictions for which devices can be used, as well as clarifying details about ownership, reimbursement, security, support, and other expectations will keep all parties on the same page. Companies must also consider and communicate the protocols when workers leave the organization to ensure sensitive and critical information remains within the control of the company.

In addition to creating a comprehensive policy and educating employees, enterprises should consider mobile apps and other tools to make BYOD management more streamlined and secure.