Adopting a BYOD policy amid the COVID-19 era

Blog | 25-06-2021 | 3 Minute read

Adopting a BYOD policy amid the COVID-19 era

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, even companies that had said no to BYOD have come to terms with it, as a fair share of remote work would not even be possible without such a policy. Pandemic or no pandemic, on-the-go data access has always enabled employees to get work done quickly and efficiently. It guarantees better communication with colleagues, improves customer service, and device familiarity brings employee satisfaction and increased productivity. Employees using their own devices also relieves the company of device, licensing, and maintenance costs.

More people adapting to remote work implies more personal devices are accessing business-critical data. Over 72 percent of organisations lack a plan to secure BYOD devices, or have not yet identified their need for one, and this increases the risk of data breaches and cybercrime.

However, implementing BYOD at an enterprise level comes with its own set of challenges:

  • Protection against cyberthreats

Employees using their own devices for work, or uploading or downloading critical data while connecting to public Wi-Fi networks, allows cybercriminals to get their hands on organisational data, and the spike to 4,000 cyberattacks per day since the COVID-19 pandemic started stands as proof of that.

  • Keeping up with compliance requirements

With personal and corporate data coexisting on the same device, ensuring employees’ devices adhere to the required compliance policies, like the GDPR, HIPAA, and PCI DSS, can be challenging, as any unapproved transfer of confidential data can cost the company its reputation and lead to severe data protection fines.

  • Providing multi-platform device support

Supporting a plethora of devices, including all the different platforms, models, and versions, can be a headache for an IT admin, and it can turn into an even bigger one if an employee uses more than one device for work.

  • Securing critical data

Data on corporate devices is easier to protect with the company’s firewall shielding it, but that’s not the case with BYOD devices. Some employees might share their credentials, postpone critical updates, connect to insecure Wi-Fi networks, or respond to scams like phishing attacks, all of which endanger corporate data. 

  • Responding to theft

Mobile devices, especially smartphones, are easily lost or misplaced, and this can end up jeopardizing business-critical data.

  • Getting employee approval

It might be the company’s data, but it’s the employee’s device after all. Organisations need to strike a balance between monitoring and protecting their data on devices and giving employees their share of privacy.

Solving BYOD challenges

An organisation should agree on a list of approved devices based on each device’s ability to support the required set of approved apps and storage capacity, and the organisation’s ability to provide support for the device itself. Furthermore, user-friendly enrolment methods can be used to onboard and authenticate employees’ devices into the corporate network. Keeping track of all the enrolled devices with access to corporate data is mandatory so that the admin is never caught off-guard.

Containerizing and safeguarding data

  • To ensure that data from personal apps does not mix with that of corporate apps, installing a container or a work profile is a must; this creates a separate workspace to host corporate apps and data. The work container can be further secured by setting up a strong password and restricting users’ ability to share data outside the container.
  • Organisations can get alerts about rooted or jailbroken devices and take necessary action on them, like performing a data wipe, to protect sensitive information from being leaked.
  • To ensure that their network is safe from major security threats or vulnerabilities, possibly owing to the use of unapproved Wi-Fi networks, organisations can require employees to connect to a VPN to access corporate resources.
  • Organisations can block unmanaged devices from accessing their mail servers and further restrict data sharing between managed and unmanaged devices.

Handling apps

A considerable amount of work is done using apps. An MDM solution can simplify the app distribution process for an organisation’s approved set of apps, including testing in-house apps before deploying them to devices. App permissions and updates can be controlled so that users cannot modify settings that allow data transfer through personal apps. Admins can also prevent data leakage by restricting malicious or unapproved apps and block data backups to third-party cloud services.

Troubleshooting devices remotely

For anything from a basic functionality issue to an in-house app crash, a remote troubleshooting session can help admins remotely view and control the device screen, execute commands on the device, and resolve issues in real time.

Securing corporate data on lost devices

Locate, lock, and completely or selectively wipe devices remotely if they are stolen to protect important data on the devices from being misused. When an employee leaves the organisation, a corporate wipe can be carried out on the device so that no corporate data is retained.

Mobile Device Manager Plus is an EMM solution supporting Apple, Android, Windows, and Chrome devices that helps organisations tackle the challenges that come with implementing a BYOD policy. It allows admins to segregate personal and corporate workspaces, provision and manage enterprise-approved apps, and enforce approved corporate security policies to safeguard business-critical resources. Admins can remotely troubleshoot devices, execute location-based actions, erase data from lost or stolen devices to safeguard confidential data, and much more.

Sign-up for 30 day free trial of Mobile Device Manager Plus now.

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