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Considering a BYOD workplace? Here’s what you need to know

Have you heard about BYOD yet? Businesses love a good acronym, and Bring Your Own Device is no exception. Especially since 2020, and the rise of remote working, teams are finding a huge amount of added convenience and productivity in using their own device for work. It’s incredibly helpful to access work on the fly and it also gives your business an extra layer of continuity should the office be inaccessible.

This unique way of working does present some unique challenges. When devices are exclusively in the office, managers and tech teams can have a lot more control. When devices are taken home and kept there for extended periods of time, there are greater risks. There needs to be steps taken to protect your devices and data, as well as to ensure your team always maintain a great work life balance. In this blog, we’ll cover some of the risks of BYOD, the best practices you can use to mitigate them, and also some top tips for how your business can adopt a BYOD policy.

Is BYOD right for you?

BYOD or hot-desking is a unique way of working. Being able to take devices home is very effective for some industries but not ideal for others.

At Biscuit, we’ve seen this policy work well for many professional services teams. These businesses often use a variety of cloud services already. Whether this its MS Teams or another UC service for communications, or Microsoft365 for its productivity benefits. These services are well-suited to work on the go and so are very commonly used for BYOD.

If you have already migrated to the cloud, great! BYOD could definitely be right for your team. If not, we can help migrate your business to the cloud. With many analogue services switching off soon it’s the perfect time to take a look.

The BYOD pitfalls to avoid

The advantages of adopting one of these policies can be great for your business. Whether you can hire from a wider pool of talent thanks to remote working, or facilitate hotdesking in your office to save on rent. There are some serious issues that can arise if you don’t properly secure employee devices though.

If your team are accessing company data through personal devices, it’s crucial that these are secured both on a software and hardware level. When working from home it’s far easier for people to fall victim to phishing attacks. The lack of oversight from colleagues means far more attacks are taking place. There’s a risk from devices physically falling into the wrong hands.

There’s also a risk around the networks that your team use on the go. Public WiFi is known for being unsecure, and if your staff are accessing company data connected to these networks then you could be running a severe risk. Steps also need to be taken to ensure that staff’s home networks are secure.

How to make secure home working happen

While these previous points all sound like serious challenges, they can be mitigated using the right technology and techniques.

When it comes to securing individual devices, you need to make sure that they are up to date with the latest anti-virus, firewalls and spam filters. These will make sure that your team face less threats, and if anything does sneak through its impact will not be as severe. At Biscuit, we offer a remote monitoring app that can help. This application once loaded on to an employee’s device, lets us know if any number of cyber-security services are missing or need updating, and we can handle the process remotely.

We also know that if you’re enacting a Bring Your Own Device policy, that your team are likely working on a wide variety of different platforms. Older devices can potentially pose a security risk. The devastating WannaCry attack in 2017 affected over 300,000 computers because they were still running older versions of Windows. We can help alert you to any older devices on your network that are due an upgrade.

When it comes to securing physical devices such as mobiles, you may wish to look into MDM software. This can remotely wipe mobiles if you are certain that they have been lost or stolen. Mobiles are one of the best ways to implement a BYOD policy, our partners at YTL can help you find a great deal on yours.

Finally, for some peace of mind when your staff are working on the go, we recommend spelling out some key pieces of guidance:

  1. Always choose a password that is actually secure, think random combinations of letters and numbers, you can always use a password management service to keep track of them.
  2. Avoid using public WiFi when working remotely, and make sure home workers are using a secure network.
  3. Always bear in mind your physical surroundings, is accessing the company finances the best idea when you’re in a public space?

For more advice from working from home, why not check out our previous blog? Or for a free IT consultation, click here.