Find out what your enterprise mobility management system should include

Bring your own device — also known as BYOD — policies have become increasingly popular in recent years.

Fifty-nine percent of companies allowed employees to use their own mobile devices for work purposes as of two years ago, according to Tech Pro Research calculations, which predicted the amount of BYOD organizations would continue to grow.

Allowing employees to choose what type of phone and/or tablet they’ll use at work offers them additional freedom to customize their digital experience, which can help augment employee satisfaction; removing device purchases from the budget either completely or partially, if employee devices are subsidized, can also potentially save employers some money.

BYOD policy implementations, though, can also present a few concerns — notably security, which is the key reason some companies are reportedly backing away from the practice. Ten percent of organizations in the U.S., U.K., France and Germany expected BYOD tablet use to decrease last year, according to a Strategy Analytics survey.

Having an enterprise mobility management system in place can help organizations safeguard device implementation and use. Nearly a third of companies, however, don’t have one.

If your organization hasn’t outlined its expectations regarding BYOD security, the following guidelines can help employees use their devices safely to keep company information secure:

Set limits: You don’t have to allow every device. To make sure your IT department is capable of supporting employees’ phones and tablets, you may want to distribute a list of approved makes and models. Some companies also limit the apps employees can download and the data they can access remotely.


Encourage device locking

Having a BYOD policy provision that a password or other authentication method should be required to unlock phones and tablets after a few minutes of being idle can help prevent individuals with malicious intent from being able to pick up and use an employee’s phone if it’s lost or left unattended.

You don’t have to rely on the default authentication

A phone may, for example, be designed to let the designated user unlock it with a facial scan; requiring more verification methods — such as a passcode or fingerprint recognition, too, to confirm the appropriate person is using a device — can strengthen security. Yet one in four companies do not utilize multi-factor authentication to secure employee-provided phones and tablets, according to Bitglass research.

Incorporating other security measures may help

Some organizations are also including data encryption provisions in their BYOD security approach, according to Strategy Analytics, and ensuring their enterprise mobility management system mentions device provisioning — requiring certain elements, such as a certificate associated with a device, to be confirmed within the company’s system to authenticate the user.

Train employees on proper device use

More than three-quarters (79 percent) of U.S.- and U.K.-based professionals who manage and procure mobile devices for their organization worry about accidental or intentional employee misuse in general, according to a recent Verizon survey; 39 percent of professionals at organizations with a BYOD policy rated employee misuse as their top concern. Make sure your employees know about generally accepted strong password and other safety principles.

Technology has transformed HR work in recent years; and it will undoubtedly continue to. With so many rapid advancements occurring, knowing what cutting edge tools and practices are on the horizon can sometimes seem daunting.

For a comprehensive look at the current types of technology companies are implementing to improve operations — and what items they may adopt in the future — download our free HR Tech of Tomorrow white paper today.