By Rieva Lesonsky
Letting your employees bring their own technology devices to work can be a frightening proposition. You have to worry about security, technology policy, data protection, and what technology you actually feel comfortable with them using. Here is a quick road map to get you started on developing a more flexible and workable “bring your own device” policy for your staff.
Security: There are definitely good—and possibly bad aspects to the explosion of mobile devices in the workplace. But what worries you—giving employees, whether remote or onsite, access—can actually make part of the process easier. For example, desktop virtualization and remote application portals can provide secure computing environments on a wide variety of devices. For a more custom solution, consider developing an enterprise app that can be controlled by your IT department and securely monitors and contains your most sensitive data. Also, create a “guest network” for the employees who use their own devices to access. This enables them to get their work done, but restricts their access to your most sensitive data.
Technology Policy: The most important thing about your policy is to actually have one and to establish your expectations by clearly communicating them. This is unique to every company’s culture, but should clearly address the following:
- Does your staff have access to the full web when on your network?
- Will your company monitor the activity of personal devices on your network?
- What type of data is allowed to be stored on personal devices?
- What safeguards does your business have if a device is lost or stolen (e.g., can the information be remotely wiped or is a password required on all personal devices for access)?
- What actions will your business take if unapproved activity is taking place on your network from a personal device?
Data Protection: While we think there are millions of code ninjas constantly trying crack our security, it’s actually much more common for employees to unwittingly share your company’s information. Start by educating your workers on permissible use and best practices. Next, put data into the cloud so you control the access and prevent the need for data to be stored locally on a personal device. Also, make sure all data is encrypted and access to sensitive data is only granted to those who need access.
Approved Devices: Control what personal devices are brought in by offering a purchase stipend for specific products you or your IT department approves and trusts. Recent data shows consumers prefer the portability of tablets, such as Dell’s Latitude 10 Windows Tablet. This device is powerful, boasting Intel® Atom® processor with Burst Technology and Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator video card. In addition, a removable battery means your workers can always be online and Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and optional 3G means they’ll always be connected, whether in or out of the office.
Another good option is Dell’s XPS 12 Convertible Touch Screen Ultrabook™ which offers workers the best of the tablet and laptop environments.
This is a paid post in conjunction with IDG, Dell and Intel®.