Mobility and the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend are undoubtedly two of the largest revenue drivers in the IT space. Workers are using their own mobile devices and gadgets to access email and do work at an overwhelming pace, and many IT departments are feeling the strain as they try to come up with ways to safeguard and protect sensitive corporate information while also giving workers the access they need to use their own devices.
One of the most important things an organization can do related to BYOD is to implement a clear and direct program that provides guidelines for both employers and employees. A survey from email encryption provider DataMotion shows that there is an overall disconnect between IT management and other staff when it comes to communicating about BYOD security and compliance programs and policies. The company found that a large percentage of IT managers also take compliance risks and are willing to turn off essential tech capabilities if they become a problem, limiting workers and potentially leading to frustration all around.
By establishing boundaries and limits, employers can instill trust in their workers related to using their own devices, while also feeling secure that sensitive data and applications are not being exposed and vulnerable. Ultimately, this type of program can save a business substantial money in both capital and operating expenditures.
"There's always a demand for new tools such as email on mobile devices -- companies and workers look for better ways to get the job done,” said Bob Janacek, CTO of DataMotion. “The challenge is to provide encryption and filtering tools that are easy for people to use, and dependable so they don't get disabled. IT has to keep pace, which is why the communications disconnect with non-IT employees, as well as the risks being taken, require immediate attention.”
Setting up security rules at varying levels based on each worker and the type of access they require is a crucial component of any BYOD program. Not only does this make clear how much surveillance and monitoring workers will have to undergo if they endeavor to use their own devices to access corporate information, but it sets up different layers of access to various areas of corporate data based on employers’ and workers’ needs. This ensures remote employees only get access to the information needed to get their work done, and that it remains separate from personal data and applications.
Many organizations opt to turn to professionals when it comes to implementing a BYOD program. CW Professional Services (formerly Compuware (News - Alert)), for instance, specializes in offering technology strategies to help businesses with mobility and security. The service provider has come up with specific strategies for managing BYOD across vertical industries like food, manufacturing and transportation to deal with a growing number of mobile devices and connections.
Ultimately, whether an organization chooses to handle BYOD internally through its own IT department or through a professional consultant or managed service provider (MSP), setting up a clear and comprehensive program is the best way to rein in the growing number of mobile devices and connections. By establishing set rules and guidelines surrounding security and accessibility, organizations can protect sensitive data and gain peace of mind for themselves, as well as their workers.
Edited by Rory J. Thompson