Employees not using phones for business? In the present day, that’s unbelievable. The question of now is: what mobility program should my company use? Of the options available, two stand out. In this post we’ll be talking about the bring your own device (BYOD) option and guidelines a company should follow when implementing a BYOD program.
Companies using a bring your own device program reimburse employees for the business use of their personal devices. The reasons to do so are many. One of the most popular options, corporate device, has companies providing employees with business-specific devices. First, phones aren’t cheap. Depending on company needs, several departments may need to be outfitted with new devices. Taking into account the cost of each smartphone and the plan costs, prices can add up quickly. That doesn’t even scratch the surface of replacement expenses and IT stress from additional support needs. A BYOD program has none of those upfront costs.
Second, employees prefer to use devices they know. Alternative options will have them switching between personal and business devices, and those don’t always have the same operating system. When an employee uses their personal device, they know what they’re working with. However, with this benefit comes a serious corporate concern.
Security is a major concern for most companies. Every device that has access to sensitive company information is a potential entry point for cyber-attack. This seems to be twice as concerning when employees’ personal devices are that entry point. To mitigate this risk, companies must implement security measures that can easily be adopted by all devices and other endpoints.
Everything begins with the platform employees engage with to install necessary corporate software. Having a single secure platform as the source for all updates is a big step toward ensuring employees aren’t downloading malware and exposing the company to cyber security risk. Security management extends beyond the platform to those pieces attached to it, covering content and domain filtering and anti-malware functionality. That would include mobile threat defense solutions and professional services capabilities.
A secure platform doesn’t help much if the applications added to phones have exposures. Implementing a guaranteed app takes more than a scroll through its website and review section. Set up time with the company, ask for references and come with questions specific to your system. Even if an offer is too good to pass up, be ready to walk away if the security is questionable.
This is more than a Face I.D. or Touch I.D. An employee may misplace their device, and it may fall into the wrong hands. When it does, you want to be sure there’s more protecting sensitive company data than a four-digit password. Pushing an authenticator to all devices offers an additional level of security.
With a BYOD program, employees are still paying their phone bill. Most companies offering a BYOD program provide a stipend to offset the cost of the personal device’s business use. Is it mandatory? That depends on the state(s) your company operates in. Cases have resulted in million dollar lawsuits, and avoiding that is more than worth the monthly reimbursements paid to employees.
Rolling out a BYOD program to the entire company means a longer implementation process and increased endpoint risk. Look at what departments, or even specific employees, require the program and prioritize onboarding based on greatest need. If the process goes smoothly you can think about adding the entire company, but there’s no harm in starting small to begin things.
When fighting cyberattacks, few things are more valuable than knowledge. Help employees learn to identify the clues that something is a suspicious message or phishing attempt. You might even go as far as ensuring employees enrolled in the BYOD program take a quiz first to determine their email etiquette doesn’t pose a security risk.
The bring your own device guidelines outlined in this blog provide first steps for a company ready to implement a vehicle program. Certain determinants, like the reimbursement portion, secure platform and vetted applications may be more challenging. Companies often use managed mobility service (MMS) providers to help implement their mobile program. A lot of these providers lack experience in the BYOD space. We have proven expertise and methodology, backed by a sound platform that supports both BYOD and corporate-liable programs. Interested in learning more about our BYOD solution?