While BYOD policies often make things easier for employees, they can also be a severe security risk.
If a device outside of your business can access your business network, you need to take preventative measures.
Since data security is paramount, here are some of the most important things to consider for your BYOD policies and company apps in this article.
Your BYOD policies should pay serious attention to password protection.
Smartphones can easily get lost or stolen. When they contain company apps with access to sensitive company data, a stolen phone can pose a significant security risk.
Imagine your employee uses a team management app regularly to communicate with their team members, sharing sensitive information about clients and projects.
If the employee’s password is weak or non-existent, the person who steals the phone can easily access the data from the app and put your security and company reputation at risk.
Password protection is a vital failsafe measure. If the phone does go missing, strong password protection will give the employee enough time to report the problem and take other necessary measures.
You should include password protection procedures in your BYOD policies to protect your business.
Start by making password protection non-negotiable
The passwords they set should use over 4 digits, since anything shorter than that is the easiest to crack. However, if you want a strong password, it has to have at least 8 digits.
Include biometric authentication in your BYOD policies. Face expressions or fingerprints are difficult to steal or impersonate.
According to a study by Juniper Research, over 90% of smartphones are expected to have biometric authentication features by 2024.
Your employees should use these additional security features to keep company apps secure if somebody steals their devices.
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Enterprise Wipe Protocols
When there’s a chance that somebody can access your sensitive company data, enterprise wipe solutions are an intelligent solution that enables you to delete all business data remotely.
An enterprise wipe will remove the following business data:
- business Wi-Fi
- email accounts
- enterprise apps
- app profiles
Enterprise wipe solutions are typically used when an employee leaves your company, or their device gets stolen.
That way, you don’t have to worry that a former employee will unlawfully keep company data.
Unlike full data wipes, an enterprise wipe will remove only the data associated with your business. The device owner’s personal photos, media, and emails remain untouched.
You can implement enterprise wipe protocols by adding a mobile device management (MDM) solution to your BYOD policies.
MDM allows you to manage your employees’ smartphones, grant or remove access to corporate data and perform full enterprise wipes.
All MDM tasks are executed on a unified console. It enables you to implement security policies, share corporate content and install company apps.
A strong Network is crucial to getting business done
If you’re going to allow your employees to use their own devices, it’s vital to blacklist risky apps.
Blacklisting is the practice of prohibiting certain apps from being installed on your employees’ personal devices because they pose a security risk.
Most of the time, employees are unaware of which apps are safe.
One of the best examples of a blacklisted app is the infamous Pokemon Go app in 2016.
The app was a smash hit and achieved over 30 million downloads. It enabled users to play a game where they’d catch Pokemons in AR.
However, the original user agreement allowed the app developer to access sensitive user information, including Google profiles, history, and past searches.
If a company had sensitive data stored on Google Drive, for instance, the developer Niantic Inc. could have accessed it as well.
This is just one example of a BYOD security risk.
If you want to create a blacklist for your BYOD policy, talk to your IT professionals first.
They have the know-how to assess which apps can put sensitive company data at risk.
Include file-sharing apps.
Blacklisting file-sharing apps prohibits your employees from installing apps that would help them share corporate data with third parties.
Once you compile a blacklist, share it with your entire staff.
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Data Encryption Procedures on Company Apps
When doing business, clients will often send you important files and exchange delicate information about their business whenever they have a problem.
Using a specialized mobile app for your business facilitates many processes—internal, such as communication between your employees, as well as receiving and handling customer data like payment or contact details.
However, corporate and client data on phones is vulnerable to attacks, which is why proper encryption is essential.
By encrypting your sensitive app data, you’ll keep it safe from unlawful use.
If anyone steals the data, they won’t be able to access it without an encryption key, which means your security won’t be compromised.
That’s why data encryption is crucial to any BYOD policy that involves company apps.
There are two ways you can encrypt sensitive data.
Both iOS and Android devices can encrypt their data by turning the passcode feature on in their phone settings. Users enter a PIN code or password that automatically encrypts all data.
Another way to encrypt data is to use an MDM solution. MDMs can also set a PIN or a password to protect data while in transit, rest, or active use.
Finally, let’s talk about containerization policies.
Containerization is an increasingly popular safety measure for work environments with BYOD policies and company apps.
Containerization separates a part of a personal device into a containerized area and protects it by a standalone password and security protocols.
For instance, if your company allows its employees to use their private laptops and notebooks, containerization keeps the sensitive data safe.
You don’t even have to worry about their antivirus and internet security.
When users log in and engage with the apps and data in the containerized area, other apps outside the area are inaccessible.
Containerization doesn’t limit all the functions of personal devices.
However, employees can’t access apps that don’t meet the set security standards when they’re working.
This solution is commonly offered alongside MDM solutions. To enable it in your BYOD policies, have your MDM professionals containerize sensitive files.
Afterward, educate your employees on what containerization for their device use.
Of course if you need Antivirus and Internet Security software, we can help
A BYOD environment is often the most convenient arrangement for your employees and their use of company apps.
Many companies have underestimated the security risks, but now what to consider for data protection.
Shape your BYOD policies with care and keep your company safe.
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