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How to Implement a BYOD Policy for Remote Workers

The option to bring your own device (BYOD) can lead to both opportunity and risk for businesses. Now that remote working is commonplace, more employees are using their own devices and networks for work. This is a convenient and cost-cutting solution for companies but it also leaves your data more vulnerable to cyber threats. Having said that, by defining a clear BYOD policy for remote workers you can minimize risks and capitalize on the benefits. Here are a few tips for implementing a BYOD policy.

Ownership of apps and data

The policy needs to outline the ownership of apps and data, for data protection and liability purposes. You need to decide whether to pay for the apps your employees use, either fully or a set allowance. You also need to decide on security solutions for the devices. It’s advisable to provide a security solution recommended by your IT services in order for your employees to be then granted access to company data.

Employee exit policy

Remote working will help you save on business overheads, but what happens when a member of staff leaves your team? They will still have access to sensitive data on their devices without an employee exit policy in place. You might want to consider having passwords automatically changed, access blocked, and their devices wiped clean of any data by your IT department or provider.

Outline liabilities

It’s important to outline the risks of BYOD and disclose liabilities in your policy. For example, you need to clearly explain the company’s liability for company and employee data, and the employee’s own liability in the case that they divulge any sensitive information. This could be due to negligence on both parts, so it’s necessary to determine your responsibilities to keep data secure. Clearly explain these details to all remote workers using their own devices.

Multi-factor authentication

It’s also recommended to set up mandatory MFA. Multi-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security to a single password. This reduces the risk of a security breach if a member of staff chooses a weak password. MFA requires additional security checks such as an automated phone call or biometrics like fingerprints or voice recognition. If you use Microsoft Office 365, you can change default admin settings to make MFA mandatory for your entire team.

Staff training

While they’re working remotely, it’s especially important to train your staff in cybersecurity. This could involve teaching them how to recognize phishing campaigns and other malicious threats. It’s also necessary to ensure they’re following cybersecurity best practices, even while working on their own devices. Make them aware of network security as well and encourage the use of VPNs and encryption. Ensure they are keeping their hardware and software up to date. Older models of devices are more vulnerable and more easily accessed. If they don’t update their software or operating system it might not be compatible with the latest anti-virus protection. As long as you increase awareness of cybersecurity issues, you can benefit from BYOD. 

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