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Facilitate BYOD in your Company

Published on 26 November 14
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BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is a very common policy for companies to want to implement. The benefits are obvious for both parties â the employer doesnât need to invest as much in employee equipment, and employees can use equipment they are comfortable with. Of course, there are negatives as these devices by their very nature are typically not as monitored as company-owned equipment, and data can be lost if employees arenât careful with their personal devices. Still, there is a lot of good that can come from implementing BYOD.

The first way to ensure that the company benefits from BYOD is to implement a plan, as well as which employees will be able to utilize it â typically mobile employees such as Sales or Executives will benefit most, as well as employees that work remotely. There is a benefit to providing the policy to all employees, as they would be able to remote into company infrastructure following a disaster, for example, but this can be part of a growth path for the BYOD initiative. After that it is important to identify how everything will be managed, and how employees access company infrastructure; this can be done by either utilizing company share drives or file servers to provide files to the mobile employees.

An alternative to having employees pull files remotely from the cloud is to establish a private server to host desktops using Citrix or VMWare to enable the employees to access desktops identical to those they would use in their office regardless of the device they are utilizing. This has an added benefit, since the employee would only be able to access company-data from the desktop, meaning that if the device is lost all IT has to do is generate new credentials for the employee. This prevents anyone who might have stolen the device from have stolen a way into the company as well.

Once you have decided how to implement BYOD for your employees, it is important to determine how you will protect company data. While a hosted desktop solution can prevent a thief from gaining access to the company, it is still important to ensure that security protocols preventing copying to the actual device are in place. If you are sending employee information to a personal device without utilizing a tool like hosted desktops, you should still look at options such as encryption to ensure that unintended parties canât easily access the information from the device.

Finally, there is the matter of protecting the company from any internet-based issues that may occur. The best way to do this is to ensure that all connections to company servers are done via VPN. It also makes sense to protect company servers with Firewalls in these scenarios, and most firewalls provide VPN services so this can act as taking care of two birds with one stone. This is the best way to ensure that employees can maximize productivity with devices they are familiar with as well as to ensure that connectivity back to the home office is secured.

Aside from adhering to these steps, reviewing security protocols with employees is very important, especially when mobile employees aren't seen as often as employees that work at central offices. IT should go through security training with employees to prevent losses caused not only be security breaches on the devices, but also breaches caused by employee errors, such as falling for phishing scams or social engineering attacks where attackers ask for individual bits of personal information to complete the puzzle that is cracking into the employees account.
BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is a very common policy for companies to want to implement. The benefits are obvious for both parties â the employer doesnât need to invest as much in employee equipment, and employees can use equipment they are comfortable with. Of course, there are negatives as these devices by their very nature are typically not as monitored as company-owned equipment, and data can be lost if employees arenât careful with their personal devices. Still, there is a lot of good that can come from implementing BYOD.

The first way to ensure that the company benefits from BYOD is to implement a plan, as well as which employees will be able to utilize it â typically mobile employees such as Sales or Executives will benefit most, as well as employees that work remotely. There is a benefit to providing the policy to all employees, as they would be able to remote into company infrastructure following a disaster, for example, but this can be part of a growth path for the BYOD initiative. After that it is important to identify how everything will be managed, and how employees access company infrastructure; this can be done by either utilizing company share drives or file servers to provide files to the mobile employees.

An alternative to having employees pull files remotely from the cloud is to establish a private server to host desktops using Citrix or VMWare to enable the employees to access desktops identical to those they would use in their office regardless of the device they are utilizing. This has an added benefit, since the employee would only be able to access company-data from the desktop, meaning that if the device is lost all IT has to do is generate new credentials for the employee. This prevents anyone who might have stolen the device from have stolen a way into the company as well.

Once you have decided how to implement BYOD for your employees, it is important to determine how you will protect company data. While a hosted desktop solution can prevent a thief from gaining access to the company, it is still important to ensure that security protocols preventing copying to the actual device are in place. If you are sending employee information to a personal device without utilizing a tool like hosted desktops, you should still look at options such as encryption to ensure that unintended parties canât easily access the information from the device.

Finally, there is the matter of protecting the company from any internet-based issues that may occur. The best way to do this is to ensure that all connections to company servers are done via VPN. It also makes sense to protect company servers with Firewalls in these scenarios, and most firewalls provide VPN services so this can act as taking care of two birds with one stone. This is the best way to ensure that employees can maximize productivity with devices they are familiar with as well as to ensure that connectivity back to the home office is secured.

Aside from adhering to these steps, reviewing security protocols with employees is very important, especially when mobile employees aren't seen as often as employees that work at central offices. IT should go through security training with employees to prevent losses caused not only be security breaches on the devices, but also breaches caused by employee errors, such as falling for phishing scams or social engineering attacks where attackers ask for individual bits of personal information to complete the puzzle that is cracking into the employees account.

This blog is listed under IT Strategy & Management and IT Security & Architecture Community

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