Bring your own device policy

How you can benefit from allowing staff to bring their devices to work

First published on Wednesday, Jun 24, 2020

Last updated on Thursday, Jun 06, 2024

It’s not surprising in this age of gadgetry that your employees will bring some of their products into work.

This can create some concerns for your business. Are your staff members working or procrastinating?

Well, to make things clear to all of your business you can introduce a bring your own device (BYOD) policy—although it isn’t a legal requirement, it can help make your policies clear to your workforce.

But what exactly should go into that? Let’s take a look.

Choosing the term you want to use

First off, let’s take a closer look at some of the variations on concept. There are quite a few to consider:

  • Bring your own technology (BYOT).
  • Bring your own phone (BYOP).
  • Bring your own personal computer (BYOPC).

For this article, we’ll stick with BYOD recommendations—but it’s really up to you what you want to call it as the same personnel and security precautions apply.

Devices you might want to include

You’ll need to create a bring your own device to work policy. In that, you can establish all the procedures you want employees to follow.

The purpose of a corporate BYOD policy is to allow your staff members to bring in their personal devices. These can include:

  • Smart devices such as watches.

This can be for business purposes only, but you may also want to allow your employees to have designated device zones for personal time.

Primarily, your staff will use the device for work. This includes potentially accessing your business information and other applications.

An industry term for this new craze is IT consumerisation.

What are the benefits of BYOD?

The idea is that staff have their own devices at all times, so can work longer hours with your systems and respond to emails-projects later into the day (or early in the morning).

Of course, this doesn’t mean you should completely overwork your employees, as downtime is essential for productivity. But it’s also a legal requirement due to the laws regarding working time.

Be wary of presenteeism and its long-term effects on your business. If your staff are putting in a lot of overtime for you, reward them for their efforts with holiday time or a bonus. Neither are a legal requirement, though, as this is more to maintain employee morale.

How do you set up a BYOD policy?

You’ll want to follow BYOD best practices when setting up your procedures.

But once you know that you want to set up a policy, how do you go about it? Well, there are various points to consider. We summarise these below for you:

  • Employee risks and responsibilities: Common issues such as misconduct, discrimination, and confidentiality will need addressing. When there’s device misuse, there can be serious consequences. Establish BYOD guidelines indicating what the proper procedures are.
  • Establish a BYOD agreement that work data will remain your property.
  • Include a requirement that an employee must delete your private data if they leave your business.
  • You can explain about BYOD mobile device management—how to look after the device, what to do if it breaks, and how to make staff use it correctly.
  • Discuss with your IT department how you’ll police the situation, as staff won’t always follow your policy to the letter. It can be difficult to tell if a staff member has broken your rules, so consider how to deal with this carefully.
  • You should also remember that employee should be able to show they understand your rules. You can ask them to sign a statement indicating they’re aware of your procedures. This protects your business at a later date, should there be any breaches.

You can provide staff with a BYOD policy document that explains all of the above—they should be able to refer to this whenever they need to.

Another major part of your BYOD policy best practices should focus on security. And we’ve dedicated an entire section on this below.

Security procedures to follow

Obviously, you can’t just let everyone turn up with their devices and now have a BYOD security policy.

There are BYOD security risks you’ll need to carefully consider before deciding on whether you want to go ahead with this concept.

BYOD security risks come about due to the new access routes to data that become available. So you must be aware of concerns regarding:

  • Loss of commercially sensitive data.
  • Leaking of the same data.
  • Your responsibilities under the Data Protection Act 1998 and GDPR.

Despite bring your own device security potentially being an issue, if you follow recommended BYOD security solutions then you’ll be in a good position to avoid any issues.

Here are some of the essential steps you can follow to maintain strong security measures:

  • Review your systems regularly. Look for opportunities to remove or minimise any vulnerabilities you find. You can do this before you introduce bring your own device plans, but also once you implement your BYOD strategy.
  • Use a trial basis to start your policy—make sure it actually works for your business before implementing it on a wider scale.
  • Vet the various devices you’ll be using. This will ensure your staff members only ever use secure products.
  • Make sure that you have a comprehensive password security system in place. Train your staff on how to avoid the likes of the dreaded password123.
  • Use encryption software to store personal data securely—again, train your staff so they know how to do this.

But if you still have any BOYD security concerns, then you can contact us for assistance with your procedures.

Need more assistance?

We’re here to help. Get in touch today if you’re looking to set up your bring your BYOD device policy: 0800 783 2806.

Al Brown

Chief Technology Officer

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