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How to manage BYOD security effectively on your site

Employees at many companies are allowed to bring and use their own
devices at the workplace. However, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)
policies can only be effective if everyone in the organisation is aware of, and
is committed to abiding by, the appropriate and applicable security
policies.

Rick Bell, Innovation Architect for UXC Connect explains that BYOD is a
fact of corporate life but it is important to ensure effective governance. He
observes that employees, mostly senior executives, are often tempted to bring
their own device because the technology they have is usually more advanced than
what they have at work. This segment is also more likely to plug their new
device into the corporate network without due consideration for security
policies.

BYOD security policies must take into account that regardless of the
device used, the network must be secured to protect the organisation’s critical
data. If not properly secured, mobile devices can introduce malware into the
network that can compromise the security of the entire business.

An effective BYOD security policy will specify clear guidelines for
employees about what types of devices are acceptable and what needs to be done
to ensure they are secure before they are used on the organisation’s network.
These policies must be communicated in a formal manner to ensure all employees
are aware of the requirements as well as penalties for non-compliance.

According to Rick Bell, organisations cannot take chances when it comes
to introducing new devices into the network, which can potentially impact corporate
network security. There must be standards and systems in place to maintain that
security. For example, a mobile device might include security measures such as
encryption, two-factor PIN authentication or containerised applications and
data protection. Devices that cannot support these measures should not be
allowed to access the corporate network.

Rick Bell also advises that organisational policies should be set and
overseen by a committee that includes senior executives from both business and
technology. He explains that senior executives often expect to be able to
use their personal devices in the business network, but they should be educated
about the risks as well.

Being part of the steering committee that develops, communicates, and
enforces the rules regarding BYOD will help reduce the risk of executives thinking
they are beyond the purview of established rules. Additionally, it presents an
opportunity for senior executives to lead by example, helping spread the right
security-sensitive culture across the organisation.

Rick Bell adds that policies and standards can be enacted through an
enterprise mobility management platform. By doing this, organisations can then
leverage mobility initiatives and BYOD policies to deliver the benefits with
the assurance that network and information security will not be compromised.

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