Did you know that approximately 69% of organizations globally allow employees to use their devices for work-related assignments? A report by Cisco shows that workers using personal devices save up to 81 minutes per week! Consequently, companies can save up to $350 per year for every employee.
The statistics reveal an increasingly changing perception of the BYOD approach. Companies are allowing employees to work remotely. However, the move exposes employees’ devices to cyber threats. As such, the organizations should develop mechanisms to protect them as well as the stored data. This article outlines various methods that employers can use to safeguard employees’ devices
Why You Should Protect Employees’ Devices
When you allow your employees to handle sensitive data using their devices, there is a significant chance of loss through cyber-attacks. Data is the new currency, and its demand is on the rise. As such, you should ensure that you strike a balance between the BYOD convenience and your data’s security.
Also, various regulatory bodies require that you safeguard the privacy and confidentiality of personally identifiable data. For example, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) obliges every organization to protect medical records. To achieve HIPAA compliance, you should develop reliable mechanisms of safeguarding the data by creating strong security systems.
How To Protect Employee’s Devices
While BYOD has been shown to improve productivity among employees, only 17% of organizations globally have the financial muscle to provide these devices to their employees. As a result, the majority of companies allow employees to handle private data using their own devices. This presents a significant cyber-attacks risk.
However, employers can undertake the measures outlined below to protect the employees’ devices:
- Have a Detailed BYOD Policy. Before allowing your employees to use their devices, always ensure that they sign a legally binding BYOD policy. The agreement will enable them to understand everything that is required to safeguard their devices. The document should have explicit safety measures that will guide every activity undertaken on the private device
- Avoid Storing Sensitive Data on Employees’ Devices. While you can allow your employees to use their devices to work remotely, you should never allow them to store sensitive data. If they store such data, then you can be certain that their devices will not be safe since cybercriminals strive to attack data-rich devices. Also, ensure that employees can only work using specific computers when handling highly sensitive data
- Train Your Employees. Educating your workers on the best data handling practices will reduce the risks of cyber-attacks significantly. You should teach them on the need to use various security features including strong passwords, firewalls, and 2-factor authentication
- Limit Access to Some Sites and Apps. When working on private data, employees should avoid logging in to unauthorized applications and websites. If no access limitations are set, cybercriminals will take advantage of the loophole and attack the employees’ devices leading to loss of data
- Integrate Your Organization’s Systems. If an employee opts to use their device for work-related assignments, they should allow the IT department to integrate the organization’s software into their devices. This ensures that all the mobile devices have your organization’s security features and that any risk can be monitored directly by the IT professionals
- Change the Passwords Regularly. You should advise the employees to change their passwords regularly to eliminate any chances of hacking. Also, the password should be strong and difficult to guestimate
- Limit the Type of BYOD devices. You should have a clear policy on which devices will be accepted for BYOD. Ensure that you only use devices that integrate strong security features such as Apple. When making the decision, you should consult your IT team for guaranteed compatibility with your apps and systems
Use Of Technology To Enhance Security For Employees’ Devices
While the manual implementation of security features can be effective, human error can cause security problems. As such, you should always try to combine the manual installation systems with ready-to-use security apps.
Such software is installed in BYOD devices to monitor their usage. Any suspicious moves can lead to denial of access. This automation ensures that cyber threats are intercepted before they lead to more harm.
The automated applications should be configured only to allow the employee to access the company’s private data. This will be achieved by instituting personalized security features such as eye sensors, facial recognition, and fingerprint features. Also, too many failed login attempts should be reported as a security threat until it is authorized by the IT department.
The use of personal devices for work-related assignments has been shown to boost employees’ productivity significantly. However, the employees handle sensitive data that exposes their devices to cybercriminal threats.
As such, the employer must develop reliable techniques to protect employees’ devices while safeguarding their personally identifiable data. This article has highlighted various techniques that you can use to guarantee the safety of mobile devices.