BYOD, or Bring Your Own Device, is a mobile enterprise strategy that replaces work phone plans with a more flexible, employee-focused approached. Employees bring their own smartphones to work (which most tend to do anyway) and use them for both work-related and personal activities, as needed. This is much cheaper for the company, which avoids paying for full phone plans, but the potential for loss of security and time-wasting issues has many companies worried about the trend. For businesses wondering how to adopt a BYOD strategy properly, here are several best practices across the industries:
MAM (Mobile Application Management): MAM strategies control the applications that employees use on their iPhones, instead of the phones themselves. This is one of the easiest ways to switch to a BYOD approach – company guidelines are shifted to allow employees only the use of certain, company-approved apps for work-related activities. The business adopts several safe, trustworthy applications to use for all mobile activity, and restricts employees to this software on the job. MAM strategies grow more complex from there, varying in freedom based on company controls. There is often a list of banned apps or required app updates for reasons of security, and the use of social media apps like Facebook often fall under specific regulations.
Virtual Devices: Virtual devices, like virtual desktops before them, are a cloud-based method of creating a set-apart space on a smartphone that functions as its own device. This allows businesses to separate personal and business data neatly: Employees access the virtual device for business, and all its apps or information stay separate from their “other” personal phone. This required advanced IT work and some uniformity in the type of phones that employees use, but it can also solve many of the problems related to BYOD.
Remote Security Options: Remote security refers to any action that the IT department can take on a phone from a distance. Some businesses, for example, have a wipe function that allows IT departments to wipe all data from a phone if it is stolen in order to protect sensitive business information – a harsh but sometimes necessary tactic. Other remote security options could scan phones for viruses or suspicious activity, lock employees out of business software if necessary, and remove business programs if an employee leaves the company.
Basic Device Security Training: When focus moves onto a BYOD strategy, it is time to rethink how employees are trained. No matter what phone they bring in to work on, they need to treat it differently now that they are using the device for business purposes. New training initiatives should educate workers on essential device security. Lock codes should be required. Employees should be instructed on keeping their phones safe, keeping them away from young children, and keeping track of them so they cannot be casually accessed with malicious intent. The worst security risks occur when a phone is left open to access where anyone can use it.
Administrative Control – And Limitations: Innate BYOD limitations create a tension between employee data and personal data. So many new security requirements leave employees wondering how much of their data is safe and what companies could learn about them. How much data can administrators access? How is that data stored or used by the company? What can employees do to keep data entirely private on their phones? Companies should offer clear answers to these questions and put policies into place that offer employees privacy from too much administrative control.
This BYOD: IPhone Best Practices For Enterprises article is written by Aaron Mills, He is a tech blogger who writes on behalf of companies such as Protectyourbubble.com smartphone insurer, a popular company that insures gadgets people can’t live without.