A Smart BYOD Policy For Small Business

BYOD button on computer keyboard
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BYOD is an acronym that stands for “bring your own device”, and the word is gaining in usage in IT security circles. It refers to employees who bring their own portable computing devices – such as tablets, notebooks, and smartphones – to the workplace and use their own devices to connect to and use their employers corporate network. If you’re a small business owner – even if you only have 5 employees – you still need to hire or consult with an IT security consultant to set up a BYOD for small business policy in your workplace.

BYOD Security In The Big Business World

Today, employees expect to be able to use their portable computing devices and smartphones at work, and that makes BYOD security a real concern for small business owners and IT security teams.

Many big corporations that allow employees to use their mobile devices at work institute a BYOD security policy that makes the company’s stance and governance policy clear, in order to help IT security teams better manage these portable devices and ensure that network security is not threatened by employees who are using their own devices at work.

BYOD security requires IT security staff to spell out detailed security requirements for each kind of personal device that is used to connect to the corporate network. For instance, IT security may require devices be set up with passwords, prohibit certain kinds of applications from being installed or require all data on the device to be encrypted.  It is very important that you have a competent IT security consultant outline a BYOD policy for your workplace.

BYOD For Small Business

Even if you have just a few employees, you can still take cues from major corporations.  A single person with a portable device can compromise network security.

Many small business owners believe letting employees use their own phones and computers is a great way to save money for the company.  However, there could be serious expense and reputational damage to a small business if an employees device containing or having access to company data is lost or mishandled.

For example, consider your mobile employees, working in coffee shops or on the go? If an unencrypted or unlocked device is lost or stolen, and contains client data, you can compromise your client, your relationship with them, and your business reputation.  If the stolen device has an an auto-lock feature turned on, it won’t deter a serious hacker, however it can protect data if a device is stolen by a petty thief.  Sadly though, BYOD research in 2012 reveals that over 90% of users have turned off their auto-lock feature on tablets, and over 70% of users have turned it off on their SmartPhone. So, if these users are logged in to your network, your Office 365 accounts, your OneDrive, DropBox or Google Drive, and have their device stolen, that company and client data is out there.  Not good.

A BYOD policy, well executed and adhered to will protect you from these potential pitfalls.  A little education for your team will go a long way in helping them understand the importance of keeping devices secure.  Making little things like auto-lock part of your small business BYOD policy helps each team member understand and buy in to the idea that some extra steps on their part, and extra precautions, are well worth it to protect client data, company reputation, and their own role with the company. We’re here to help you lay out your small business BYOD policies.

Paying Attention To PIPEDA

PIPEDA is an acronym that stands for Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, a Canadian law relating to data privacy.  It outlines how private sector organizations can use or disclose customer data in business.

Your business has to be extremely careful in its handling of personal information. You should have a system in place to give consumers who so desire access to their information, but you have to be sure not to disclose personal information unless you can be sure the person requesting it has a right to access it. You have to protect information from theft or loss, and you have to safeguard it from unauthorized modification, use, copying or disclosure. You could face civil scrutiny if you don’t comply with the law.  A BYOD plan for your small business can help you protect your data and assure customers that you value and safeguard their privacy.

BYOD Statistics

TUCU offers BYOD, MDM & IT Security Solutions in Toronto:  Our IT Consultants are well versed in IT Security and will help you control the accounts and devices that connect to your company data so that yo can reduce risk of account hacks, breaches and data loss.  Schedule your free consultation so that we may discuss your needs and how we can help.

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