By Ntiva Editorial Team on Feb 4, 2016

Top 5 BYOD Concerns That Employers Should Address

Today, many business organizations permit the use of employees' personal devices such as smartphones or tablets in the workplace. The ownership of such devices is now the norm and the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) practice is a growing demand. Despite the buzz, caution must be taken as this phenomenon might risk your corporate data through the employees' personal devices. If your organization permits the use of employees' devices within the business premises, there are a number of factors to consider when it comes to maintaining the security of your corporate data. Here are five BYOD concerns every employer should address.

Termination policies

When one of your employees decides to resign, whether as a result of termination or on amicable terms, the risk of data theft is surprisingly high. An outgoing employee could possess a personal device that's full of company information, thus having a clear policy in place to deal with such circumstances is paramount. As preventing their access to documents and systems can take time, it is pertinent to manage this task before they leave.

Training employees

While having policies in place are essential, training your employees on using their personal devices for work is important as well. Your BYOD policies amount to nothing if you don't train your employees on how they are or aren't allowed to utilize their personal devices in the workplace. Additionally, you should educate them on what files can or cannot be accessed with their devices. It is pertinent that you provide comprehensive refresher courses from time to time, to ensure that they don't lose sight of the rules. These are all vital steps of preventing a data breach.

Backing up data

Today, many mobile devices and systems have an automatic cloud backup function. There are also other more comprehensive cloud based solutions which your employees will take advantage of over time. While backing up data is a good IT practice, things may get problematic once business data is inside the device. There may be trade secrets or other private organizational information that should not exist within personal cloud storage. It is essential that you do not allow your employees to back up company data on their personal devices.

Employee privacy and policy control

While BYOD policies are vital for the protection of an organization’s data, don't forget to protect your employees' privacy too. Your policy should state clearly what kind of employee’s personal data is needed in exchange for a required amount of access.

Additionally, adequate policy control is also needed to dictate specific data or systems to which type of BYOD devices is or isn't allowed to access. Also, the policies should state that every employee is required to report any stolen or lost devices in a prompt manner for appropriate measures to be implemented.

Keeping records

While maintaining the protection and security of data on BYOD devices is important, accounting for all the business-related data that your employees create or consume on their device is also pertinent. Depending on the type of business you operate, there are different regulations to take note of to govern the data effectively.

As an employer, you will need to be upfront when informing your employees that personal data should always remain separate from business data. If you have implemented your BYOD policies well, you will effectively minimize the risks of breaching your corporate data or corporate IT environment for that matter.