Is your company prepared for BYOD?

The allure of personalized tablets and smartphones (or maybe both!) doesn’t escape any of us.

In its recent “Mobile Security Strategies and Vendor Leadership: North American Enterprise Survey,” Infonetics Research points out, “A new wave of mobile devices are being connected to corporate networks, like it or not, and many companies are embracing BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) strategies to decrease capital cost and increase productivity.”  I’d add that many companies I’ve talked to also feel BYOD boosts employee satisfaction, since it makes work more convenient and easier.

Whether you’re already on board with BYOD – or considering it inevitable, as Infonetics suggests — you want to be sure to have a policy in place to guide employee use. Your BYOD policy should begin by making it clear to employees what is and isn’t acceptable regarding their use of personal mobile devices, applications and social media.

Here are some specific recommendations from Forbes, “Developing a BYOD Strategy: The 5 Mistakes to Avoid.

Manage Apps: New smartphones are all about apps and however valuable many are to productivity, they are risky. They can include malicious components designed to introduce viruses or steal data. Set guidelines on what types of apps can reside on your employees’ owned phones that are used to access company data; some should be blocked from use during the workday. Not only can apps jeopardize your company’s data security, remember that seemingly harmless games can steal valuable work hours.

Ensure password control: Require passwords and ensure the appropriate level of password complexity. As part of the strategy, users should be required to change passwords at company specified intervals or points in time.

Define and enforce device requirements: Your BYOD policy should include minimum criteria for acceptable on-premise devices — hardware, operating systems, and device management agents. Device management software can enable you to check for those criteria and restrict access to non-compliant devices.

Anything you’d add from your own experience with BYOD?

About Judi Hembrough

Judi leads Americas Marketing strategy and go-to-market programs for the Small and Medium Business (SMB) customer segment at Plantronics. Judi has been a marketing director at Plantronics for 10 years in various roles focused on Strategic Alliances Marketing, SMB and Home & Home Office solutions. Prior to Plantronics, Judi was President of William-Christie Associates, Inc. -- a management consulting practice, for 10 years where she guided numerous companies such as Palm, Intuit, CBS MarketWatch and HID, in driving new initiatives.