As employees return to the office, many businesses will be implementing a Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) programme. There are many potential benefits of introducing a BYOD programme, including substantial cost savings, convenience for employees, and flexibility in work location. However, if your programme is not well planned, it carries a significant security risk. Employees may be using an unsecured device on a secure network, putting you at risk of falling victim to a cyberattack. Here, we’ll discuss 8 steps to successfully implement a BYOD programme.
- Define an Objective
The first step in creating a programme is to define the goal of the programme. This may be to decrease expenditure on hardware, creating a better experience for employees or increasing productivity. Defining this objective will shape many of your decisions and give a clear metric to measure the success of the programme.
- Involve an Expert
The process of deploying a BYOD programme can be difficult to manage without a modicum of technical expertise. Many businesses don’t have this expertise in-house and will rely on the knowledge and experience of an outside IT provider. This is often a safer option, as there are many security aspects that must be considered.
- Decide on a Technology Solution
There are many technology solutions that can increase the success of a BYOD programme and decrease the risk of a cyberattack. Some of these may include the use of a VPN, enabling multifactor authentication, unified endpoint management software and/or the implementation of virtual desktops or cloud PCs. Azure Virtual Desktops and Windows 365 Cloud PCs are typically the most secure and comprehensive solution that can enable a BYOD programme. Both of these solutions can be deployed through Microsoft Azure and allow users to access Windows 10 and all necessary applications, from anywhere, on any device. As the security policies are set by the administrator, employees can safely use their own devices without putting the business at risk of a cyberattack.
- Assess the Security Impact
After a business has decided on which solutions suit their business and objectives, it is important to assess how this will affect their security posture. Implementing a BYOD programme should not weaken a business’s security posture, as any financial savings, increased productivity, or employee satisfaction is not worth the risk of a costly cyberattack. If after a security impact assessment there is a negative security impact, the business should consider a different technology solution to avoid degrading security.
- Establish the Policies and Processes
Before instigating your BYOD strategy, it is essential to establish policies and processes. The policies should include what is ‘acceptable use’ of personal devices within a work setting. This may include what apps employees are able to use, what websites are banned and what data employees can access. Businesses should also establish the process involved with starting to use a device within the BYOD programme, and provisioning any necessary hardware or software.
- Implement the Technology
After the policies and process are established, a business or their IT provider can implement the necessary technologies. This will likely include changing security policies for personal devices, enabling multifactor authentication or provisioning of virtual desktops or cloud PCs.
- Train Employees
A BYOD programme will only be successful if the employees understand the processes and policies, including the reasoning behind why a business has made the decisions. Training and education should be delivered in an engaging manner, with opportunities for employees to ask questions. Employees should also have access to the education resources on-demand, so if there is anything they are uncertain of, they can refer again to the training. The education should focus on protection for not only the company, but also the employees’ personal information.
- Regularly Review
There are constantly new security threats facing businesses, and a BYOD programme will need to adapt to safeguard against these emerging threats. Similarly, businesses should collect feedback from employees that can be used to review BYOD policies and procedures, to ensure that all objectives are accomplished, and that employees are satisfied with the programme.
These steps form the basis of a successful BYOD programme. Such a programme has the potential to decrease overall expenditure on hardware, whilst increasing productivity and improving the employee experience. However, businesses must consider the risks involved with a BYOD programme and take precautions to ensure they do not fall victim to a cyberattack.
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