These days, business managers or owners can expect employees to bring any number of personal devices into the workplace, and potentially connect them to networks storing highly sensitive company data.
However, this poses a security threat that companies simply cannot afford to leave unaddressed, because even one small mistake can leave your business facing a major, costly data breach. Instituting a "bring your own device" policy is therefore a must, and the following are just some of the reasons why:
1) It's just good security practice
First and foremost, a solid and clearly defined BYOD policy will help insulate you from risk, according to Service Futures. When you sit down to codify all the ways in which employees' and visitors' personal devices can connect to your business network, there's no ambiguity and people are far more apt to follow your explicit instructions.
2) It helps you understand what went wrong in the event of a data breach
Suppose you suffer a data breach due to someone having sensitive work files on their personal laptop or smartphone, or they inadvertently brought malware onto your network, Service Futures said. With a BYOD policy that's clearly spelled out, it becomes far easier to identify the source of the problem and take all reasonable steps to address it.
3) It can help you account for employee behavior
Along similar lines, when you have strict BYOD procedures in place, you are much more likely to discourage employee behavior that either willfully or inadvertently subverts your security, according to Apogaeis. When you are clear about what and how people can connect to your in-house network, mistakes or bad behavior are kept to a minimum.
4) It actually reduces hassle for employees
The more you can do to write rules that can account for just about any personal device someone brings into your facility, the better it is for all involved, Apogaeis added. Employees, for instance, will know what is or is not allowed and act accordingly, removing ambiguity — and potential security threats — from the equation.
5) It clearly defines expectations
Much like reduced hassle, it also helps both you and employees to get on the same page, according to Zeguro. For instance, if you require that any personal device connecting to your network have anti-malware or antivirus software installed, and make that explicit, the risk someone will not follow through on that is significantly reduced.
6) It gets everyone up to speed
Of course, these rules are also a great way to make sure workers, managers, visitors and more are more attuned to strong data safety standards, which helps keep your company on the cutting edge of security, Zeguro advised. As with anything else in business, a BYOD policy cannot be something you "set and forget," and you should continually account for it in your overall data security planning and posture. When you do so, everyone will be more likely to comply with your standards on an ongoing basis.