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Looking at BYOD from a new perspective

There are many questions businesses should be able to answer before launching their bring-your-own-device (BYOD) program.

johnNielsenNEW2

Looking at BYOD from a new perspective

application access control, byod, privacy


There are many questions businesses should be able to answer before launching their bring-your-own-device (BYOD) program. For example, what issues should the company's BYOD policy address?

A recent ITWorld article took a slightly different approach than most news outlets by discussing BYOD from the employee's perspective. Taking that perspective into consideration could help companies design clear, effective policies. After all, many of the concerns an employee would have relate to issues such as privacy, which cannot be protected retroactively or after the program has been launched.

BYOD policy considerations

1. Privacy

The point of contention revolves around the fact that businesses need to make sure their data is secure, while workers don't want their bosses snooping into their personal lives. The article said employees should consider what the company's policy is regarding device monitoring after work hours or after they leave the company. While mobile device management (MDM) solutions are able to enforce policies and monitor activity, it's important that employees understand how and when the software will be used to manage personal devices.

2. Control

Most companies are going to expect some compromise from their employees. ITWorld said it's important for employees to know the specifics regarding policies such as remote wiping. A good BYOD policy will answer these questions before workers ask them.

• What happens when a device is lost or stolen?
• Will the company wipe the device after an employee leaves?
• What restrictions will be placed on devices that access corporate data?
• Who has control of the data put on the device while the employee works for the company?

Once policies are put in place, the next step is to implement software to enforce them. While there are a large number of factors for businesses to consider when utilizing MDM, organizations can get the most benefit from choosing a flexible solution and adapting as their network and business needs change. However, it's important to make sure the basics are covered.

Essential mobile device management features
A recent Forbes article highlighted five essential MDM features companies need to have in order to secure a BYOD workplace. These include:

• The ability to enforce password protection on devices
• The ability to store sensitive data centrally and control access
• Data backup
• Application control to ensure only trusted apps can access sensitive information
• Remote wiping support

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