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BYOD: Keeping Everyone Happy

There are ways in which the roll out of BYOD initiatives can be successful and the key is in the way they are managed. With the proliferation of mobile devices and IT consumerisation, more employees will expect to work in companies that have a BYOD or CYOD (choose your own device) policy. Today’s users want to have anytime, anywhere access to all the tools they need from day one. It is therefore vital for IT to educate end-users, particularly regarding security and corporate data. However, IT should avoid being too heavy handed in enforcing these policies. According to a new Gartner report , it is predicted that by 2016 roughly 20 per cent of companies will ultimately fail to find the proper balance between these dueling priorities.

Abandon BYOD?

A survey by Harris Interactive revealed that 50 per cent of users would abandon BYOD if the organisation had an enterprise mobility management scheme in place. This would indicate that there is a knowledge gap among users, where they may not appreciate the full implications of a security breach or corporate data loss as a result of BYOD, and how the business could actually protect the employee. This is where training is required and it needs to be on a regular basis.

As more companies allow employees to use their preferred devices for work or offer them a choice of device, which will invariably include an Apple device, there must be an increased focus on support to ensure company data remains secure without overstepping on user privacy. In fact, across the enterprise, IT executives expect a 98 per cent increase in Apple devices by 2016. This is where the device management solution will take centre stage.

What IT needs to do

Firstly, the IT department must understand their security requirements and then translate those requirements into tasks and tools to deploy, activate, and monitor.

For corporate-owned devices, this task set will include full disk encryption, password protection for organisational assets, and protection from software that may hide hacks and attacks. In some organizations with vulnerable users, IT may also need to regulate explicit content. By using third-party software tools, organisations can not only deploy the right software and settings to users, but can also monitor those settings and automatically make corrections as needed.

For personal-owned devices, organisations can also look into implementing a management solution that simplifies MDM (mobile device management) and tames BYOD, but that also lets IT deliver the requisite levels of user en-ablement, productivity and self-sufficiency. These MDM tools can help IT departments maintain a measure of control of corporate data, with the ability to remotely wipe corporate data, enforce passwords and gather corporate inventory. Users feel that their device is protected and can have visibility of what IT has access to on their device. This trust between IT and users should form the basis for any BYOD or CYOD program.

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BYOD, byod policy

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Users? Won't somebody think about the users?!

Additionally, to create a robust and secure ecosystem, that generates a fine-balance between users and corporate, the IT team can install software that enables users to download only trusted applications that have been vetted and validated by the IT team. Once the applications are downloaded, transferring content between other managed apps can be made simple but avoid data sharing between trusted and untrusted applications. This will further help to empower the user, keeping productivity levels high without risking security.

Lastly, it is recommended that organisations look to a managed roll out of BYOD or CYOD initiatives. Businesses can look to a micro roll out to test-bed the success rate of a BYOD implementation with a small team and monitor uptake. This will enable the IT team to make any changes needed before moving to a department roll out and if proven successful, move to large scale implementation across the organisation.

By Jason Stanaland, product marketing manager, JAMF Software