For companies intent on embracing enterprise mobility, crafting a bring your own device (BYOD) policy is just the first step in defining safe and productive mobile device usage. Those policies, once written and implemented well, can head off lots of potential problems.
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Writing and implementing a mobile device policy
There are plenty of policies that can help IT get a handle on users' mobile devices, such as consumerization and BYOD policies. And in some cases -- like acceptable use policies -- employees can learn what they can do to better protect and secure their own devices, which makes IT's job easier. The important thing is to understand the functions of each end user and mobile device policy so IT and end users can get the most out of them. Brush up on the different kinds of policies and how you can use them to your advantage.
There isn't one cookie-cutter program that works for every company, so every BYOD policy will be different. But there are certain things every business should consider when writing BYOD policies, such as how users should protect their devices, which apps they can and can't use on their personal devices, and what users and IT should do when an employee loses a device or leaves the company. Decide which devices you'll support, draw up policies, then get users to agree to the terms. Continue Reading
Users need to know the consequences of violating their company's BYOD policies, and IT needs the tools to enforce those consequences. For example, if your BYOD policy states that users' passwords must meet certain requirements, then your mobile device management system should be able to push those requirements to devices. And if you tell employees their devices will be wiped if they're lost or stolen, you should be able to wipe their devices. Continue Reading
There are some basic strategies and best practices you can follow to strengthen your BYOD and mobile security policies: Encrypt business data on users' devices, update hardware and apps (or make sure users are doing it), register devices before you let users connect them to the network and use Secure Sockets Layer certificates to authenticate devices. Continue Reading
You can tailor acceptable use policies to gain control over applications. Informing users what they can and can't do with their devices and having them agree to those terms lets you un-enroll or auto-quarantine noncompliant devices. If you want employees to only download apps from your app store, let them know you will block devices from the network that download apps from another source. But you also have to explain why you're instating such a rule and make sure the punishment fits the crime. Continue Reading
Think about writing a remote wipe policy to help protect mobile data. There are a few different ways to handle remote wipe, and each is appropriate in different situations. For example, you can use factory reset to return a device to its fresh-off-the-assembly-line condition, but use full device wipe to eliminate everything written to a device's file system. Continue Reading
Need to know: Mobile device policy definitions
There are more policies out there aside from just BYOD guidelines. Get familiar with some different types of mobile device policies.
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