BYOD is an integral part of the enterprise scenario today. Companies all the world over seem to be encouraging and making the most of this emerging trend. But when it comes to BYOD policy, which is of utmost importance, companies seem to be indifferent and employees seem to be rather ignorant.
There are surveys and reports that say that only about 40% companies (some studies put it as 39%) have a real, formal policy as regards BYOD. Studies also reveal that almost half of the employees who use BYOD devices have ever got any kind of training or received any instructions about using these devices. There are many companies where employees use personal devices for work without any restrictions, without any proper guidelines or policies governing the use of such devices and without any kind of BYOD policy in place. Almost 15% companies, as per reports, haven’t got their employees to install a preferred mobile security app. Almost 80% companies that go for BYOD let employees use their personal devices and don’t care about providing their employees with a mobile device to use for work. The results are in fact startling. Companies are at risk, data could be compromised. Malware attacks on company networks could increase, especially via BYOD devices. Studies prove that countries like China, India, Indonesia, the US and the Philippines rank high as regards malware attacks and not having proper policy or guidelines is one of the main reasons behind malware attacks on enterprise networks.
So, to make the most of BYOD and thereby enhance productivity and increase involvement, employee satisfaction etc, it’s almost imperative for every company to go for a BYOD policy. Here are certain things that need to be ensured if this has to be effective:
* Companies need to make sure that BYOD devices used by employees are totally supported by IT and under full control of the IT department.
* If it’s personal devices that employees bring to work, it’s to be ensured that they are securely connected to the company network.
* Restrictions are OK, companies may restrict employees’ using Facebook, Twitter etc or even block Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc, but it’s always good to focus on motivating employees to perform better or on ensuring more involvement from their side.
* Companies could go for well-drafted contracts with employees. These contracts could have terms and conditions relating to BYOD device usage.
* Companies should have clear-cut clauses about wiping of data when a BYOD device gets stolen or is lost or when an employee leaves the company.
* Companies should give importance to training employees about security aspects, especially relating to BYOD. It’s important to cultivate in employees a sense of responsibility.