Sometimes it feels like there's no stopping the tidal wave of bring your own device (BYOD) policies. What started out as a promising trend just a few years ago has turned into a common sight in the workplace. There are many reasons BYOD has gained so much popularity in a relatively short period of time--more productivity and increased job satisfaction are just two--but the move to BYOD can lead to more than a fair share of headaches for the IT department. One way to alleviate this unfortunate effect is by properly preparing your employees before fully adopting a BYOD program. That requires enough education beforehand to make a new policy effective. If employees know the following items, not only will the transition be smoother, but IT will have an easier time managing so many new and varied mobile devices.
1. Do Not Use Unsecured Wi-Fi
Most of the concern over adopting bring your own device policies usually centers around security. With so many new endpoint devices in use, there are more avenues where attackers can infiltrate an organization, often with damaging results. One of the more common ways this is done is when employees connect their BYOD devices to unsecure Wi-Fi networks. Without adequate security measures, attackers are free to hack the network and, in turn, infect any device that happens to be connected to that network. Some hackers even impersonate a free Wi-Fi network just to get people to connect. BYOD employees need to know that any personal device they have must connect to a secure network.
2. Use Strong Password Protection
One of the easiest and most effective ways to protect an endpoint device is through a strong password, but many employees don't take this into account. Before adopting a BYOD policy, workers need to understand what constitutes a strong password and why it's so important for keeping hackers at bay. Attackers have all kinds of strategies and methods for discerning passwords, so choosing something unique and difficult to figure out is a necessity. Different passwords for each device is also an extremely important feature.
3. Lost or Stolen Procedures
Despite their best intentions, employees will sometimes, whether by accident or theft, end up losing their devices. Due to these unfortunate incidents, workers need to know what the normal procedures are for a lost or stolen BYOD device. This should include immediately reporting the incident to the proper channels so that action can be taken as soon as possible. Employees also need to know some of those actions may include remotely wiping the device, which may end up erasing any personal data that is on the smartphone or tablet. Knowing the consequences of losing a device may help employees take extra caution once BYOD becomes a reality in their organization.
4. Training Will Be Ongoing
Any adoption of BYOD should be preceded by a thorough training session for all employees. While workers will likely expect this, they may not expect that this is just the start of numerous training sessions in the future. Technology is constantly changing, and with it the methods where devices can be compromised. New malware is being created every day, so employees need to know about the latest security threats before they are attacked. They also need to know which devices will be accepted in the organization and handled by IT. All of this information will need to be conveyed through periodic training sessions, so employees need to prepare for that fact.
5. BYOD Has Many Benefits
Employees may feel a bit overwhelmed at all the added responsibilities BYOD entails. They may even start asking, "Is all this even worth it?" The answer from many businesses is a resounding "yes." So it's important to tell workers of everything that can be gained through a thoughtful BYOD program. Employees can become more productive than ever, collaboration is made much easier, and they'll get more satisfaction from using their own personal devices. There's also more freedom compared to using a corporate-chosen item. With this in mind, employees will be more willing to shoulder the responsibility of BYOD.
Any transition to BYOD within an organization will require a lot of adjustment on the part of everyone. Employees are no exception to this, so preparing for these changes is an essential step. With the right knowledge and the promise of better things, workers will have an easier time getting used to how helpful BYOD can be. The result will be a more productive company ready to tackle the challenges happening in a very competitive business world.