3 questions to ask before allowing BYOD

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There are three important questions small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) should ask before allowing BYOD devices into the workplace, advises Matthew Held, CEO and co-founder of Manawa Networks.

First, does your firm have a strong BYOD policy in place? Your policy should balance the productivity needs of the employees with the data security needs of the employer. "The responsibility of IT staff is to ensure an organization's data is secure and have a plan for lost or stolen devices ... IT staff must be diligent in monitoring users who actively use services like company email, virtual private networks, Intranet applications and customer databases from any device," explains Held in a Huffington Post blog.

Second, have you communicated that policy effectively to employees? You should be clear about what information will be monitored, how the information will be used and how long it will be held. If you are using a mobile device management product, let your employees know what security configurations will put on their devices and how device settings will be modified. You should also be clear about the employee's responsibilities, such as immediately reporting a lost or stolen device. "These points outlining responsibilities need to [be] organized into a formal agreement and agreed to by each employee," writes Held.

Third, do you need a third party to help plan and manage your BYOD strategy? "Third party companies that provide comprehensive IT assessments can help companies learn about vulnerabilities and develop sound BYOD and cloud policies for SMBs. For business owners, having such policies in place ensures that the company is protected while also pursuing cost savings and productivity goals," Held concludes.

For more:
- read Held's blog

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