According to Microsoft, 6 out of 10 endpoints in an average company network are mobile devices. But despite handling more than 80% of the workload they’re often neglected when it comes to cybersecurity measures.
This is especially true for companies that implement “bring your own device” (BYOD) policies. The biggest difference between BYOD and other mobile use programs is that instead of using company tools, employees are using their personal devices(laptops, smartphones, etc.) for work. Many businesses find BYOD the most budget-friendly way to keep their teams productive.
BYOD is very popular with small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) since many SMBs just can’t purchase new smartphones and wireless plans for their staff. It’s way too expensive. Also, many employees find carrying around two or more similar devices uncomfortable and redundant.
It’s estimated that 83% of all companies use some type of BYOD policy.
BYOD is a great thing if you can run it securely. Too often, business owners don’t even know all the devices that are connecting to their network. Or which device may have sensitive data stored on it.
Here are some of our tips on overcoming the security challenges of BYOD.
If there are no defined rules, then you can’t expect people to follow them. If you allow employees to access business data from personal devices, you need a policy. Employees may leave business data unprotected, avoid using password management software, or use public Wi-Fi while working with sensitive data. You need a policy detailing what employees can and can’t do. A carefully thought-through policy will protect your business from unnecessary risk.
If your policy is outdated, it is less relevant to your employees. Someone may look at your BYOD policy and notice that part of it is too old and didn’t age well. Because of that, they may ignore the entire policy, thinking that it’s entirely obsolete and no longer applies to them.
Make sure that you update your BYOD policy regularly.
According to Dialpad, before the pandemic, 65% of employees gave their personal phone numbers to customers. This happened mostly due to the need to connect with clients when away from an office. Clients also may save a personal number if an employee called them from their own device.
Customers having employees’ personal numbers is a problem for everyone, but especially for business owners. Employees may leave your company and take all the clients with them to another employer. Or they can simply stop answering customers’ calls.
You can avoid this issue completely by using a VoIP phone system. VoIP systems can route calls from business phone numbers to employees’ personal devices. It’s a win-win situation. You get control over all the business data: phone numbers, phone call recordings, etc., and your employees get the convenience of talking to clients from their personal devices.
BYOD got increasingly popular with the inception of a remote/hybrid work culture. While BYOD in the past may have focused on mobile devices only, it now applies to computers and servers as well, complicating cybersecurity for small businesses even more.
No matter what type of device your employees use, you should maintain control and ensure the security of business data. Start with restricting the types of data that staff can store on their personal devices. And make sure that all the data they store is properly backed up.
According to research done by Ponemon Institute, 60% of data breaches so far have happened due to un-updated software. Any endpoint, including those owned by employees, connected to your network can enable a breach.
It can be tricky to ensure that all the devices are kept updated, and it gets even harder when employees have multiple personal and work devices. But there is a solution. Many businesses turn to endpoint management solutions (EMS). An EMS can push through updates to all the devices in your network automatically, without bothering your employees. EMS can be safely used to update employees’ personal devices since it doesn’t read or download any data from the device, so there is no danger to employees’ privacy.
When an employee leaves your company, you need to clean their digital trail. Is the employee still receiving work emails? Do they still have access to company data? Are there any company passwords saved on their device? These are all questions you have to ask when offboarding a former staff member. You should also remove any company files they’ve saved on their personal device and ensure their device(s) is deauthorized from your company’s network.
At EB Solution we have more than a decade of experience helping SMBs like yours with their endpoint security. If you already have a BYOD policy we can help you make it secure and convenient. And if you don’t, we can help you set it up with all the cybersecurity best practices applied from the get-go. Schedule a quick call with our cybersecurity experts or leave us a message and we’ll get back to you shortly.