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Elements of a comprehensive BYOD policy

Recent research has suggested that many organizations lack sufficient policies to support the Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) trend.

brianChristiniNEW2

Elements of a comprehensive BYOD policy

byod, mobile device management, policies


Recent research has suggested that many organizations lack sufficient policies to support the Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) trend. That raises the question: What does a comprehensive BYOD policy look like? Jon Hyman, a partner in the Labor & Employment group of Kohrman Jackson & Krantz, wrote an article for Workforce in which he analyzed one sample BYOD policy written for The HR Capitalist by Kris Dunn.

Dunn's policy addressed several issues including a company's policy for reimbursement and whether the business would provide any company-owned devices. However, Hyman criticized the policy for lacking in the crucial area of mobile device security.

What mobile device management policies should address
According to Hyman, effective mobile device management (MDM) policies for BYOD must address several key security issues, including:

• Which devices will be permitted: Will the company support all smartphones or only specific platforms? Does BYOD extend to other devices such as laptops and tablets?
• Will the company require passwords for employee-owned devices: Any device with private company or customer information should be protected with passcodes to prevent liability risks.
• Lost or stolen devices: What action will the company take if a device is lost or stolen? Employees should be instructed to call the company's IT before contacting the mobile carrier to ensure data can be remotely wiped.
• Company policy regarding jailbroken or rooted devices: Companies should consider banning hacked devices to limit the potential for viruses and malware to infect them.
• Policy for when an employee leaves: Even though the device is the employee's, the data stored on that device could be critical for the company. Can the company wipe data if an employee leaves or is terminated?

"Any successful BYOD program results from a synergy among the C-suite, legal, IT, HR, and risk management," Hyman wrote. "Involve all of these departments to make sure that your BYOD program is successful, and addresses all necessary security issues."

Why BYOD? Mobile device management can cure IT headaches
Some headlines have criticized BYOD for being costly to organizations, but that isn't necessarily the case. According to a recent Federal Computer Week article, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission turned to BYOD after facing a 15 percent budget cut. The agency began by identifying how workers were using their devices. They discovered that 75 percent of workers weren't using the telephone feature. This group just wanted to use their phones to access work data. The EEOC then looked into bundled data and voice plans to let employees share minutes, which reduced costs to be more in-line with a reduced budget. The next stage was to implement BYOD pilot programs, which reduced IT costs even more.

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