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February 11, 2022

The Best Security Measures for BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)

Every successful business understands the importance of data security, both for physical documents and digital devices. With the increasing dependence on technology in the workplace, cybersecurity policies are becoming more important than ever. Many employees are also using their personal devices for work-related activities such as sending emails, contacting clients, and viewing company information. To ensure that employees are protecting company information on their personal devices, many businesses are beginning to implement BYOD practices.

What is BYOD security?

A Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy allows employees to perform business activities on their personal devices. Since some employees are already performing company business on their personal devices, a BYOD policy puts rules in place to ensure employees know how to protect company information on their devices. BYOD policies often apply to smartphones, laptops, and tablets that can be used for business reasons. A strong BYOD policy not only provides a comprehensive security process for sensitive data, it can also cut down on IT costs, since you won’t need to buy new phones and computers for each employee.

What risks affect companies with BYOD?

While BYOD policies have many benefits, they could also lead to cybersecurity risks if your company doesn’t implement security measures. If not handled properly, a BYOD policy could lead to more harm than good in your company, so it’s necessary to keep an eye on potential security risks. Some of the most common security risks with BYOD policies include data leaks, device infections, and improper overlap between personal and business use on employee devices.

Data Leaks: Since personal devices are more prone to being lost or stolen, they have a greater chance of ending up in the hands of someone that wants to steal your company’s information. If a thief ended up with an employee’s personal device, they could gain access to company data stored on the device or they could use the employee’s credentials to access your corporate network, which would allow them to find all of your information.

Compromised Devices: When using a personal device, many employees are less aware of risky links or potential malware that could infect their device. Employees could also miss out on essential security updates on their devices, which could lead to potential viruses. When company information is being stored on these devices, it poses a major security risk for your business.

Overlap of Personal and Business Use: With BYOD, employees will certainly use their devices for both personal and work-related activities, which could lead to increased security risks. When using devices for personal use, employees are more likely to visit unsecure websites or download questionable apps. These devices could also be used by other members of the employee’s family, so it’s nearly impossible to ensure that the device is only used on secure networks and sites.

What are the best security measures to take for BYOD?

While BYOD policies lead to several security risks, you can mitigate them by implementing security measures. Successful security measures will allow employees the freedom to use their devices while also providing protection to sensitive company data. Some of the best ways to accomplish this goal are establishing a company-wide BYOD policy, educating employees, ensuring secure network access, encrypting sensitive data, and having a plan for lost or old devices and disposing of old hard drives.

Establish a BYOD Policy: If you’re considering a BYOD policy in your company, it’s essential to establish a firm set of guidelines for your employees. Some of the most common guidelines revolve around which personal devices can be used for business purposes, which security programs must be installed on those devices, and what kind of company information can be stored on those devices. Since some employees deal with more sensitive information than others, you may also decide that certain employees will need to use company devices for security reasons. It’s also important to set clear rules on how your business plans to monitor and enforce these guidelines.

Educate Employees About the Risks: After creating your BYOD policies, it’s important to properly train your employees on these new rules. The main goal of this training is helping your employees understand the type of security risks they could experience and provide advice on how to avoid those risks. You should also spend some time explaining how you plan to enforce these rules and the consequences for breaking them.

Ensure Secure Network Access: An often overlooked security risk comes from the networks that employees access with their devices. To protect company data, encourage employees to check their wifi networks and ensure their networks are secure before connecting. You could also have the employees use a virtual private network (VPN) to ensure that they can connect to a secure corporate network from anywhere.

Encrypt Data: One of the most effective ways to protect your information is data encryption. Properly encrypting data on employee devices will ensure that only trusted users can access that information. Unfortunately, data encryption can also lead to challenges such as user frustration, slower day-to-day operations, and malfunctions that can lock users out of their files. While encryption can be a great tool for BYOD policies, make sure that you’re aware of the risks before encrypting your devices.

Have a Plan for Lost Devices or Disposing of Old Devices: To ensure your BYOD is airtight, you should plan for lost devices or disposing of old devices. If an employee loses their device, your IT department should be able to lock down the device and wipe the data from the hard drive to prevent thieves from stealing company information.

For old devices, you need to ensure they are properly destroyed by a shredding company. While many people believe you can simply delete old information from your device, your data is still being stored on your hard drive. The only way to properly dispose of your old information is hiring a hard drive shredding company to destroy your old hard drives.

Keep Information Secure with PROSHRED® Orlando

At PROSHRED® Orlando, we want to ensure that your company’s information is protected and your old information is properly destroyed. If you need to dispose of old documents or devices while setting up your new BYOD policy, then our secure mobile shredding services can securely destroy your items. For more information, call PROSHRED® and ask about our available services.

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