In case you have never seen the abbreviation, BYOD means "bring your own device," and it refers to a program that many organizations have in place that allows employees to use their personal smartphone, tablet and laptop at work to process financial and client data.
BYOD was designed to save companies the money they would normally spend outfitting employees with portable, high-tech equipment. While it does reduce costs, some organizations find that if BYOD is not implemented properly, it can endanger sensitive data and pose additional risks to your company.
Do you have a policy in place?
According to a report by the international research firm YouGov, 40 percent of employees who use their own devices do so without written guidance from their employers. Surprisingly, about 14 percent don't even know whether their employers have produced any guidance because rules haven't been communicated.
Do you have a usage policy in place at your company? Has it been communicated to your employees? If not, be proactive and suggest to seniorthe need for such a policy. By doing so, you can help prevent identity theft and the unintentional disclosure of confidential information. And it could potentially save your company thousands of dollars.
Learn from the White House
In 2012, the White House's Digital Government office issued Toolkit to Support Federal Agencies Implementing Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Programs. While the tool kit was developed as a BYOD policy guideline for governmental agencies, it provides an excellent model for any organization.
The White House recommends these basic strategies to get started:
- Educate employees. Since BYOD is a new concept, devote time to explain it to the workforce.
- Get input. Work with the HR department, legal counsel and unions early in the process. Ask for input on the program and policies.
- Select important security features. Work with IT to identify security settings and policies. Implement them carefully, and then cycle back to identify additional security measures after the first set is completed.
To view the tool kit, case studies and samples of department policies, visit whitehouse.gov.