The upside to the proliferation of smartphones, tablets and laptops is that they allow your employees to access important work-related information from just about anywhere, improving collaboration and productivity in the process. Personal mobile devices can also save your business money because you won’t have to lay out cash for company-specific mobile tools.
The downside to the bring your own device (BYOD) trend, however, is that anywhere, anytime access can create significant security concerns for both you and your customers. Efficient mobile communications are a necessity in today’s global marketplace. At the same time, companies must always be cognizant of what information employees are accessing on-the-go and how they are viewing it.
Fortunately for companies with dispersed workforces there are strategies and solutions that can severely limit BYOD risks. Let’s take a look at five critical ways companies can ensure their BYOD policies are as strong as possible:
- Go beyond device security: It’s important to maintain security protocol at the device level. It’s equally important to have visibility into the data traffic from these devices. Effective Network monitoring tools give engineers a high-level view, along with their associated traffic patterns, of every node on the network at all times.
- Run a pilot program: There is no way to fully anticipate the problems you’ll run into when you launch a new protocol. That’s why running a trial program is crucial. Pilots allow your company to encounter and solve actual issues as they crop up, rather than just hypothetical scenarios.
- Invest in training: Employees can’t be expected to abide by BYOD policies they don’t fully understand. Nothing will prepare your workforce for the rigors of remote work quite like teaching them exactly how your company would prefer they use their devices, as well as covering what should remain off-limits.
- Involve all company departments and stakeholders: Network security affects every department, from billing to HR to customer service. A data breach in any of these divisions can wreak havoc across an entire organize. Employees in these departments need to understand that network security is everybody’s job, not just IT.
- Consider all industry requirements: As mobility proliferates, many regulations are continually put in place to keep it a safe space. Ensuring your company is up-to-date on the latest requirements will stave off many future issues. It’s especially vital that companies also understand their own verticals and the regulations—like HIPAA laws for healthcare, for instance—with which they must remain compliant to avoid fines and penalties.
Even when your company is on top of all these issues, it can never hurt to have a helping hand or a second set of eyes. For this reason, companies like WildPackets, who specialize in troubleshooting and wireless network forensics, can bring peace of mind to even the most forward-thinking organizations.
Click here to download WildPackets’ whitepaper on BYOD security for mission critical applications.