These days, many employees are part of a ‘Bring Your Own Device’ (BYOD) trend. Instead of using just the company’s computer to work, people can supply their own technology. According to an Enterasys survey, 74 percent of companies allow their employees at least some type of BYOD use, and 81 percent of workers use at least one of their own personal devices for work. By allowing employees to work on their own devices — be it a smartphone, iPad or laptop — they are probably more likely to put in more work hours. However, while this might seem like a positive situation, it can quickly turn sour when the employee is let go or fired. In this case, the former employee probably has all sort of sensitive and proprietary information stored on their devices, and the company needs to figure out how to remove it.
This first step is making sure your company’s private data never slips into malicious hands of bitter ex-employees is to make sure their work space and personal space is separated from the very beginning. As more companies and their employees are engaging in BYOD, it is important to utilize a service like BlackBerry Balance, that allows employees to effortlessly switch back and forth between their work and personal information on their phones. The personal and business areas are fully secure and encrypted.
InfoWorld.com contends that the focus needs to move to managed BYOD, or MBYOD. Rather than trying to manage each and every mobile device that an employee is using and micro manage themselves until they go crazy, managers should instead focus on securing the data at its original source, before securing it both in transit and at rest when it is between the company’s internal system and the smartphone or tablet.
To make MBYOD possible, the article suggests that companies create a tiered system for access to the main business system. With this method, different mobile devices can be connected with a different level of access — while keeping the employees informed of these tiers along the way.
For example, some workers on one of the higher tiers might be able to access the company’s entire system, while a different tier will let people read certain things while they are at work, with very little allowed on their device. Still another tier will allow the most basic access to people — this is ideal for workers whose devices have very few security controls.
Another way to handle BYOD issues, notes Search Security, is by redirecting employees who use their personal devices for work to an enrollment portal, which will determine if they are eligible to gain access to information. In addition, the article suggests that workers who want to engage in BYOD need to accept the fact that they have to give the IT department a reasonable amount of access to their device; for example, when they leave the company, the department can access and erase pertinent information from the phone. This would also apply if the smartphone ever goes missing.
Wiping a phone clean must be done in an extremely careful and legal way, points out TechNewsWorld. The last thing you want to do is give off a “Big Brother” feeling to employees, making them feel scrutinized and unsure. Creating a safe environment where employees know exactly what the rules are will help you avoid legal troubles in the event of workers leaving.