BYOD is becoming the norm in more and more companies, even in industries like healthcare and financial services that manage lots of sensitive data. While the ability to bring one’s own device to work certainly has advantages for employees, it does present challenges for organizations—especially with respect to network and data security.
6 tips for better BYOD security
If you have customers who are in the process of adopting a BYOD policy, here are some valuable tips to offer them. These simple guidelines with help ensure that all their users have secure remote access to business-critical and sensitive information as well as their document imaging resources.
- First and foremost, create an overall policy. This should set simple guidelines for every employee who uses a personal device at work—rules like requiring an auto-locking capability, PIN and support for encryption. A BYOD policy should also stipulate what types of data can and can’t be stored on personal devices, proper and improper downloads, the procedures to follow if a device is stolen and the proper backup procedures. Every employee should be made aware of this policy on day one.
- Make one person responsible for overseeing it. Ideally, this should be a manager who doesn’t have to juggle countless other IT tasks. That way, he or she can devote sufficient time and resources to make sure that the BYOD guidelines and policies are being followed and the necessary support, service and data plans are implemented properly.
- Think beyond static passwords. Multifactor authentication provides an added level of security. And once users are authenticated, their network connections should be secured with an SSL-based VPN. This gives them the flexibility to access the network securely from anywhere on any mobile device—without having to install additional software.
- Apply a federated ID. This keeps things simple, providing a single sign-on for each employee. A federated ID provides access to any employer-approved internal or external system, including cloud-based applications.
- Centralized management is key. It’s best to manage BYOD through a centralized management console that offers reporting, incident management and troubleshooting capabilities across the entire network.
- Make sure to include secure printing. Leading print vendors now offer secure printing functionality for the mobile workforce, so users can print safely from anywhere on any device. Of course, secure document imaging begins with digital transformation—the use of scanning technology to transform paper documents into digital files. So it’s important that your customers are diligent when it comes to protecting the transformed data and bolster their security infrastructure accordingly.
The BYOD continuum
A company’s BYOD policy should be considered a work in progress. Chances are your customers will have to amend theirs over time to address new operational realities. With the advent of the mobile workforce, nothing stays the same for very long. The digital transformation is certainly not slowing down. It’s continuing to escalate.