Slow devices and computer systems are a common issue for many organizations. This situation can be really frustrating for employees who bring their own devices to the office. The BYOD (Bring Your Own Devices) policy is not a new concept, but it is a growing security concern for employers. It requires proper management to avoid possible security risks. BYOD is an ongoing trend where employees bring their own tablets, smartphones, and mobile devices to their workplace.
Employees use a corporate network for different purposes, such as accessing databases, files and mail servers. But user error and unnoticed malware can easily threaten your office WiFi network. Then, every device, every file and more will be affected — negatively. If you want to avoid security threats, try these 10 tips for managing BYOD in your office WiFi.
1. Increase Data Security
Before allowing non-company devices on your network, you must secure your data. If you have unprotected sensitive data on an open network, you are inviting trouble. Each network administrator should ensure the security of business data. If you want to open the gates for BYOD, this step should be your first priority.
2. Tighten Network Security
After securing your data, you must ensure the rock-solid security of your network. Instead of relying on generic firewalls for your data security, it is important to deploy a dedicated solution. Then, carefully lock your network from the outside world to avoid security holes that can be initiated by BYOD.
3. Incorporate an Anti-malware and Anti-virus Policy
Each device running on your operating system is susceptible to malware and viruses. As a result, you should have an approved anti-virus and anti-malware solution. All BYOD policies must include a responsible course of action. Remind employees that if they want to use their own devices, then they must install company-approved anti-malware and antivirus apps.
4. Mandate Encryption
If BYOD users are sharing data from other networks instead of using your secured LAN, ask them to start using encryption ASAP. This can be a data storage application that requires a password to access data. If a user is storing company passwords on any device, these passwords need protection under encryption.
5. Use MAM (Mobile Apps Management)
It is essential for network administrators to know what types of applications are running on their network. You don’t necessarily have to prevent users from playing games and accessing Facebook. On the other hand, you must ensure that an application is not a threat to company data. To illustrate, some Android devices allow users to side-load apps, so any app can be installed. In these types of scenarios, it is up to you to verify that employees are not allowing a port or sniffer scanner to affect your network.
6. Increase Network Capacity
When employees bring their smartphones and tablets to work, the burden on your WiFi network is palpable. If you allow BYOD, then you must increase the capacity of your network so that your wired networks and WiFi routers can manage the additional load.
7. Specify the Use of BYOD Devices
Supporting computers on a network can be a challenge for many businesses, but employee smartphones and tablets can make the situation even more complicated. It is critical to specify which troubleshooting and support issues that your IT department needs to handle. Then designate the issues the carrier should handle.
8. Put a Barrier Between Work and Personal Data
There are apps such as Android for Work that puts blockade between your work data and personal data. These apps create separate desktops for work and personal data to decrease the chances of unintended malware from affecting your WiFi. You can then protect the business side of the app, and your WiFi service, with a strong password.
9. Phone Wipe
Another useful BYOD management tactic is the option to get employee agreement to authorize a phone wipe if the device is lost or stolen. Imagine your WiFi network in the hands of nefarious characters—it would not be a pretty sight. This option also enables the ability to delete your sensitive data if a phone lands in the wrong hands.
10. Limit Support for Certain Devices
It can be really tricky to support devices of all makes, brands, models, and iterations. You should not be expected or required to handle it all. Who has the time or the resources? For instance, you can offer support only for tablets without a carrier or a solo platform. This simple step can increase the security of your company data/network and make your job much easier and more straightforward. Plus, it will streamline the process of keeping your WiFi secure.
Managing BYOD in your office WiFi requires cooperation and responsibility on all sides. Everyone wants to use their own device, but they must understand that there are consequences that must be avoided with the right rules and planning. Furthermore, you want to increase the security of your network and data with multiple layers of security. And, when the WiFi is running securely and efficiently, everyone is happy.