Incorporate BYOD policies into workplace rules and regulations
BYOD is a term that is becoming more well known in the startup realm. One BYOD urban dictionary listing defines the workplace-related term that will be covered at length in this segment. According to this listing and many tech resources, BYOD stands for “bring your own device,” and it refers to the modern practice of employees using their personal devices to access work-related networks, systems, databases, programs, or files. These devices include smartphones, computers, tablets, and/or USB drives.
BYOD in the workplace has become more common since the spring of 2020, as the pandemic and resulting social restrictions forced both employers and employees to rapidly come up with new ways to attend meetings and complete workday tasks from afar. Most businesses could not simply cease operations for several months until quarantine broke, and because the restrictions experienced were previously unheard of, developing workarounds involved quick thinking and embracing the convenience of mobile devices.
To keep up with the evolving workplace, some company leaders have incorporated BYOD policies into workplace rules and regulations, while others have not yet warmed up to the concept.
Personal device usage at work is quite common, whether company policy allows encourages, allows, or prohibits the practice. BYOD practices that occur without the approval of an individual’s employer are simply referred to as “shadow IT.” This term means that an employee’s personal device is being used at work, despite it not being supported or approved by the company’s IT policies.
Predictably, the use of shadow IT introduces several risks to an organization’s data security, which can be remedied with the creation of structured BYOD regulations.
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An organization’s bring your own device policy is a list of rules that defines how employees are permitted or prohibited to use their personal devices at work or for work-related purposes.
Many companies choose to adopt a BYOD policy because it presents a budget-friendly way to allow employees to utilize company networks, applications, and programs without requiring the company to fund and lend out company-issued devices.
Furthermore, BYOD solutions enhance the flexibility of work requirements, including schedules, commuting, and physical attendance. In recent years, more and more employees rely on BYOD work from home in a safer, more productive way. These technological measures keep work at the employee’s fingertips no matter where they are or when business hours end. The ability to quickly complete, correct, or send a piece of information is easy for employees who utilize BYOD practices at work. A sudden need doesn’t require a trip to the office, nor does it have to wait until the following business day.
Developing an effective policy is essential for organizations that want the advantages of BYOD practices to propel the business into further success. A policy of this sort involves far more than simply giving employees permission to use their personal devices for work. To write a policy that serves all of its intended purposes, a company’s BYOD policy template should include the following components:
Additionally, it may be beneficial for company managers to consider different points and requirements needed for specific devices. For example, a BYOD laptop policy might differ slightly from a BYOD smartphone policy due to the variation in each device’s capabilities.
Security is a primary concern when it comes to BYOD practices, even in companies where employees are not permitted to use personal devices for work. Personal devices are likely going to be brought into the office whether they’re permitted or not, so a BYOD policy helps improve security protocols in the modern workplace.
When BYOD practices are addressed and well-rounded solutions are introduced to the organization, both managers and employees experience higher productivity and workplace satisfaction. On the other hand, when personal device usage is disregarded or ignored, the organization as a whole may be exposed to incredible security risks.
Critical elements of any efficient BYOD security policy example include not only providing detailed security requirements in writing, but verbally covering all of the necessary details with employees to address concerns and ensure comprehension.
Elements of workplace security measures should provide step-by-step instructions that employers can verify as they’re completed. BYOD policy examples may include, but aren’t limited to the following security measures:
As with any business measure, there are BYOD pros and cons that company managers need to consider when deciding whether a BYOD solution is the right move for their organization.
A structured BYOD policy for small businesses or corporate offices can result in an array of positive changes for a company, including but not limited to:
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Having no BYOD solutions in a business environment, or creating one that fails to meet security requirements presents the following risks:
It’s easy to understand the appeal of using one’s own devices at work or for work-related tasks. The idea of remote, convenient access to workplace data sounds great in theory, but it’s important to ask, “is BYOD good for business?” When is it even appropriate to bring your own device to work?
Whether a company operates in a tech-heavy industry or not, if the business uses the internet for any reason, BYOD policies stand to present an immense security benefit at the very least.
Employers whose businesses require minimal internet access may underestimate their need for BYOD solutions. Assuming that network protocols aren’t important for a business whose employees don’t use the internet for daily work is understandable, but it’s inaccurate.
If a company has internet connectivity, a BYOD policy may be useful. After all, what are two reasons that you might bring your own device to work?
Many employees use their smartphones or other devices at work to occupy their time during lulls in company activity, even if the practice has not been approved by their employer’s IT department. It’s also worth noting that many employees use work-provided devices for personal tasks (entertainment, downloading apps, etc.). Despite these behaviors, many companies do not have BYOD policies and safety measures in place.
As such, it should come as no surprise that approximately half of the security breaches that target workplace data were accessed through unprotected employee-owned devices.
Adopting even a simple BYOD policy is a smart measure to take in order to protect the business from avoidable security breaches and unauthorized usage of company property. BYOD policies within the workplace are quite likely here to stay, so there’s no time like the present to start developing personal device procedures.