JANUARY 5, 2015

Do not always blame technology. Now the blame is in your court. Play a fair game!

Bring your own device (BYOD) is being talked about as a successful mobility strategy today. Adopting BYOD apparently reduces infrastructure costs and renders work flexibility for users. While the devices are wandering around places along with the users, MDM services are also catching up to monitor them. But for a fact, the growth in the BYOD strategy doesn’t really match with the adoption rates. Why? Two prevailing reasons I can think of are data “security” and the “trust” factor.

Security has always been a threat in IT environment and when things are liberated towards user flexibility, it is for sure a nightmare. When mobility solutions are striving to drive the enterprise capabilities, security should not disregard its ambition. Like I said earlier, do not think you have a reason to blame the IT always. When you think systems cannot agree on security, prepare the systems to perform to your expectations. Establish your ground rules, describe your considerations and steer BYOD so that systems work in your favor. For instance, define the profile of the user and his purpose of work with the device to regulate control and allow or disallow access to specific resources. BYOD solution for a trainee in an organization differs significantly from that of an executive resource. Similarly the nature of usage in the education domain is different from that of the healthcare industry. While the security-bind can be liberal in few instances, it needs to tighten up in the others. Medical profiles cannot be exposed but referred doctors can have access to the same. Essentially, the point to drive home is to recognize your risks and define your own ground rules around your business strategies.

In case of company owned devices, the deployment would be formal and therefore less probable to security threats. However, employee- owned devices may meddle with lot of personal and professional data increasing security backlashes. Companies need to work around secured connections to monitor data interferences and unnecessary interactions. This yields to another point of discussion called “trust”. Allow your employees to use their devices and also allow them to work on different apps available in store today. After all, apps and tools are here to make your work easy. So why pose a control over application tools! Shift the trust factor on the employees. It is indeed a fact that people feel a sense of ownership when they are assigned accountability and responsibility. The user should be able to configure their machine, update softwares and also comply with the security policies of the organization. The usage behavior shall be transparent and the security status will be monitored from a centralized unit. The administration will be able to track and see-through the positioning and working status of devices.

In case of any breach, misused information access or stolen data, should you decommission the device or fire the employee out of the company? Again…the point reiterates, define your policies assuming radical risks and BYOD shall be the best strategy for your business.

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