Our world has made a massive shift into the digital environment since the COVID-19 pandemic began. This means that more businesses have moved their workplace and products online. Bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy goes hand-in-hand with remote desktop work, with employees using personal devices to connect to their organization’s network and access their data. While BYOD policy can improve employee productivity, if left unaddressed by your IT team, it can present challenges. Read on as discuss how remote desktop support is capable of improving your company’s experience with personal devices by integrating them with acceptable use policies and IT security.
Whether you are a small business or an enterprise, you must exert some level of control over devices that are not owned by you. When it comes to your IT department, there must be an adequate number of staff members for remote desktop support issues that may arise. BYOD policy places more complex responsibility on your support team because there are greater risks of vulnerability to your company’s data. Of those that don’t plan on adopting BYOD policy in the near future, the most common reason is security concerns. For instance, your employees may not have anti-virus software or firewalls on every device they are using.
There also comes the headache of the lack of uniformity of devices. Perhaps everyone is using a Mac except for one person who is using Windows. This may lead to operating issues, which will require your team to learn two different operating procedures. When your business provides the same devices to all employees, there is less disruption. In the same vein, when it comes to software, BYOD policy isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Finding software programs that work conveniently for everyone can be frustrating, on top of the eventual differences in upgrades. While outsourcing your IT to Software as a Service (SaaS) is the easiest measure you can take, your employees still may struggle to use their devices.
If your remote desktop support team is prepared to take on the necessary additional security measures, BYOD policy can help out your business with the struggle that is not being with everyone. Over half of today’s highest performing, customer-oriented companies are authorizing the use of personal devices both at home and in the office. By allowing employees to use their own devices from home, there is an increase in their productivity and job satisfaction. The flexible work arrangements and comfortability with their devices mean lower technology costs for your business. After all, with the cost of a device shifting from the company to the employee, so does the data plan, regular updates, and insurance.
In a study done by Samsung and Oxford Economics, 80% of the American senior executive respondents claimed that their employees need their mobile phones in order to work effectively. Approximately 75% of them said that mobile devices are important for their workflows. Despite this, the survey reported that only 17% of organizations provide mobile devices to all of their employees. If your business is opting to go the BYOD route, mobile device management (MDM) solutions offer simultaneous freedom for employees and control for employers. Components include application and endpoint security, identity and access management (IAM), and device tracking. With MDM tools to deal with monitoring and troubleshooting, BYOD policy can run much smoother.
Once you have decided to implement a BYOD policy, also create a data classification policy. This provides a way to ensure that all information is handled properly. It should include the confidential data of your customer relationship management (CRM) and financial reports, the internal data of your API keys and encryption keys, and the public data of your business details that anyone can find on your website. You will be able to leverage tools that can streamline the classification process by categorizing data based on your parameters. While you can easily categorize some information, using automation technology to analyze large data sets quickly will serve you well in all aspects of your business.
Set clear expectations with your employees. The lines of their privacy can get blurry when you are enforcing controls on their personal devices. So, articulating your aims for technology usage from the beginning is important. Remote workers should be aware of what kinds of data they can and cannot access and send through their personal devices. It only takes one person to accidentally cause a data breach. A multifaceted BYOD policy will effectively separate company and personal data by providing specialized apps with multi-factor authentication. Employees must also know that, upon termination, their devices will be wiped of company data to keep sensitive information secure.
Once again, recognize that not all solutions are compatible with your operating systems and devices. Your two options, in this case, are to offer different solutions for each type or purchase solutions with cross-device compatibility. By evaluating your current technology capabilities, you can fill the gaps to develop a successful BYOD policy. Your business should also work with your remote desktop support team to determine the best security solutions. Cloud storage is a great way to give employees access to internal documents. However, the controls are dependent on the provider. Before leaving the cloud open, have some discussion with the provider about leveraging additional technical controls to enforce your BYOD policy.
Cloud storage is a convenient way to give your employees access to internal files. An example of this is the cloud-based service of Microsoft Intune. With this, you can better manage personal devices. Administrators will be able to configure them to meet your security standards. They can remove sensitive data if it is lost, push certificates for easy network connection, and see a clear inventory of devices accessing resources. Microsoft Intune focuses on MDM and mobile application management (MAM), and integrates with Azure Active Directory and Azure Information Protection. Is your business is comfortable with using the Microsoft 365 suite for daily tasks? Then, this feature will only add to your experience.
Cybercrime is a prime concern of remote desktop support. When developing security solutions that are specific to your BYOD policy, explain what acceptable use means to you. From there, you can determine what applications your employees should be using. Blacklisting is the process of prohibiting applications that clearly pose a security risk. A blacklist can never be comprehensive, due to new threats constantly emerging. That being said, threat information sharing can help make them more effective. Whitelisting takes the opposite approach of providing a list of approved applications. To create a network-level whitelist, consider the tasks that the users need to perform and what tools they need to complete them. Your whitelist will include things like infrastructure, websites, and services, as well as plugins, extensions, and configuration files.
Set your employees on the right track with accountability provisions. Your BYOD policy needs to explain how accountability will be measured and enforced. You can avoid basic problems with the incorporation of employee security awareness training. This is a recurring program that you can have either online or in-person. Its intention is to provide employees with a strategy for responding to cyber incidents and how to mitigate them. Some ways to get them more engaged are to do simulated phishing campaigns, focus on situations that are commonly faced in your industry, or even offer certification upon completion. The end goal should be to provide content that will stick with them.
BYOD solutions can create efficiencies in your workplace, but they also introduce vulnerabilities. Before you kick off a BYOD policy, think about what impact it could have on your business in the future. If you have the right safeguarding systems in place to protect your company data, then it can be a great option for your small or medium business. At Texas Systems Group, we operate with integrity and professionalism to reduce the cost of managing your IT for remote desktop support and beyond. Contact us to learn more about the IT services we offer for businesses, non-profits, healthcare practices, and startups alike.