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  Until fairly recently, the typical business has required that its employees work with devices that it provides them with. But as work rules have grown more flexible, an increasing number of companies have now permitted their staff to use their own laptops and phones on the job. This latter approach—called Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) –is now common with businesses.
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There are many benefits that come with adopting BYOD. It saves enterprises money that they would otherwise have spent on acquiring computers and other devices. It also makes remote work possible (or easier). Ultimately, it could increase productivity, as employees will be better at using their personal devices than office desktops and phones. However, BYOD may increase the risk of IT sabotage and cyberattacks, especially when employers fail to manage access to their networks from their workers’ devices. If you run a business and you’d like to implement a BYOD policy, you’ll want to take these steps to execute a policy that minimizes the risk we’ve just referred to.

Determine What Devices You’ll Allow

Make a list of specifications for devices that you’ll allow. You may require staff to use particular types of Operating Systems, device models, and software versions. You could also permit particular devices and forbid others; for example, make room for smartphones but demand that employees use the company’s computers, or vice versa. There are at least two reasons why you’d want to impose these limits. First, it’s crucial that workers use systems and phones that are compatible with the applications that they should use on the job. Then there’s the small matter of security; some devices (especially the older ones) do not have support and may be weak points in your company’s network that cybercriminals may exploit.
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List Out Suitable Uses

Next, define what things your staff can do with their devices, and how they are to do so. It’s even advisable that you specify what networks they can utilize. For example, it’s not safe to work on company assignments using public WiFi, as malicious actors can break through to the company’s channels via a phone or computer that’s connected to such networks. Create restrictions that limit the number and types of applications that employers can use while they are connected to the company’s network and platform. Let them know what kinds of programs they should not use while they are in the office.

Educate Employees

Besides being told to avoid public WiFi while working outside of the office, your staff should be trained in basic IT security, so that they are able to recognize threats when they surface and take proper action. A BYOD policy grants them the freedom to use their own devices; it should also make it clear that they are, as a result, partly responsible for the security of their employer’s network. Furnish your workers with tips on guarding access to their laptops, tablets and smartphones. Let them know how to strengthen their passwords, and tell them to be vigilant whenever they access the company’s platform. Also, inform them of the steps they can take if an ill-intentioned actor does get hold of their login details, or breaks into the business’s network some other way, via their end.

Strengthen Cybersecurity

When you let employees use their own devices, you trust them to act in ways that do not imperil your business’s network. It’s certainly appropriate that you train them to manage access to your company’s platforms and files responsibly. But ensure that your business’s IT defences are shored up as well.
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One thing you’ll need to do is to have reliable IT security personnel at your team’s beck and call. They will play a key role in ensuring the success of your BYOD policy. Ask them to document security measures that your workers can take to prevent and mitigate data breaches. And define the communication channels between them and other staff, so that security incidents can be reported and tackled quickly.

Keep Tabs On BYOD Usage

Periodically evaluate the implementation of BYOD. Review security protocols and compliance across your company, and examine the policy’s effectiveness. You can adjust the details of the policy where the need arises, with the aim of making it work better. Featured Image Source: Eclipse Consulting
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This article was first published on 22nd December 2022


Ikenna Nwachukwu holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He loves to look at the world through multiple lenses- economic, political, religious and philosophical- and to write about what he observes in a witty, yet reflective style.

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