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Creating an IT Policy for BYOD

Technology has maneuvered its way into almost all aspects of people's lives. From shopping to staying connected with loved ones to helping businesses flourish, there is no denying the technological area of the 21st century is booming now more than ever.

BYOD PolicySo, what exactly does this mean for small businesses and large corporations? Does it mean every employee now needs a handheld mobile device? Many business experts say yes to this question, and they believe a great way to go about doing this is by implementing a bring your own device (BYOD) policy.

What Exactly is BYOD?

Through a BYOD security policy, workers are allowed to bring their own devices to work and use them for business-related purposes. This of course means it is the responsibility of the workers to provide their selves with such devices. Because of this, lower-level workers tend to have cheaper equipment, while high-earning salary workers take advantage of today's most modern devices. No matter the devices used, there are benefits gained. From increased productivity to enhanced worker satisfaction, the benefits of BYOD are far and wide, and more importantly, BYOD is helping businesses to increase their profit levels.

Creating a BYOD Policy

When companies choose to carry out a BYOD policy, they must take into consideration the following factors:

  • How can the devices be used outside of the workplace?
  • What types of data protection will be used?
  • Will data encryption be mandated?
  • What types of devices can be used?

A survey conducted in 2011 concluded the following devices are most likely to be used for as a BYOD: Ultraportable 5%

  • Tablet 7%
  • Netbook 7%
  • Smartphone 18%
  • Laptop 28%
  • Desktop 37%

The number one reason businesses choose to adopt BYOD policies is because it simplifies the process of accessing pertinent business-related data. To make sure security is maintained within these policies and that the policies prove effective, it is pertinent to adhere to the following suggestions:

  • Set goals to be accomplished by allowing workers to bring their own devices to work.
  • Review BYOD policies on a regular basis.
  • Make sure the policies include security measures, including password restrictions on all mobile devices, as well as desktops, data encryption and more.
  • Check all devices on a regular basis to ensure they are meeting security requirements.
  • Terms of use must be read by employees and written agreements to the terms should be signed.
  • Don't allow employees to use jailbroken devices.
  • Monitor use of mobile devices.
  • Clearly define what can and cannot be accessed using the devices.
  • Provide training to workers in relation to how to properly use their BYOD devices.

When it comes to making sure a BYOD policy is being properly implemented, different parts of a company will need to be responsible for different things. Suggestion for this include:

Human Resources: Make sure educational programs are provided to raise awareness of the stipulations set forth in a BYOD policy.

Employees: Abide by BYOD policies

IT Security Management: Define and maintain a BYOD policy, making appropriate changes when they need to take place.

IT Department: Manage the security of all corporate data being shared across BYOD devices.

IT Help Desk: Provide limited support to those taking part in the BYOD.

A BYOD policy can only be effective if it is carried out using top-notch safety measures. CIOs will do well to frequently review their employers' BYOD policies, suggesting changes that need to take place to overcome any perceived risks.

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