The following is a contributed piece from Dean Wiech, managing director of Tools4ever, a global provider of identity and access management solutions. In the piece Dean speaks to managing the risk of BYOD and realizing the extreme benefits BYOD programs can bring to organizations. He writes about establishing clear guidelines around BYOD programs, device management set ups with the right solutions and overall security around a companies infrastructure.
By Dean Wiech
Implementing “bring your own device” (BYOD) at an organization can be extremely beneficial, but if not done correctly can also cause several problems. Specifically, many security issues can arise, as well as an increase in time spent by the IT department on setting up and monitoring all of the employee’s devices. One of the main reasons that companies implement BYOD is to lower their costs associated with purchasing a large number of computers or tablets. Though BYOD may lower costs of technology, if not implemented correctly it can actually result in higher costs in areas such as the time and support from the IT department.
This is why it is important to correctly set up and manage a BYOD implementation from the beginning. The following are several ways which organizations can get the most out of BYOD while easily managing the risks.
Set Up a BYOD Policy From the Beginning:
– Set Up Guideline and Rules
By setting up a set of rules from the beginning employees will know exactly what is expected from them, so that there is no confusion. This will also allow the organization to define any repercussions if employees misuse or take advantage of the use of BYOD.
– Set Guidelines for the Types of Devices Allowed
One of the top issues with BYOD is that there are many different types, brands, operating systems, etc. for devices. When employees register their device with the company, they then expect the IT department to support it and resolve any issues with the device, which can be a headache for IT. An organization needs to set from the beginning which types and brands of devices they are going to support.
Implement a Mobile IAM Solution in Conjunction with BYOD
-Easily Set Up and Manage Devices
In addition to all employee accounts, admins will now also have to set up and register all employee devices. In the beginning especially, there is a large influx of new devices that need to be added, which is extremely time consuming if it is done manually. Mobile IAM solutions allow admins to easily add the new devices by simply adding them in Active Directory. If desired, they can also allow end users to register the devices themselves. End users simply fill out a web form that is set up for a work flow request, which will then be automatically be sent to the appropriate manager or department for approval. Once the company decides which devices they are going to support, this can be set up in their mobile IAM solution. When a user then tries to register a device only those that the company supports will be able to be registered.
-Securing the Company’s Infrastructure
Since employees keep their device once they leave the organization because they own it, it allows them to potentially still access company data. Companies need to ensure that when an employee leaves they no longer have access to the company’s network and data. Though the solution seems simple — disable the user from the system and applications they have access to — this often, more times than not, goes unnoticed and the user remains active. This is because IT needs to be notified of the employees leave and then manually disable them from all systems and applications individually. If an IAM solution is implemented, once an employee leaves the organization a manager can automatically disable the user’s access and deactivate their access to the network, ensuring the security of the company’s data.
By following these guideline organizations can hopefully gain the most out of BYOD while mitigating the risks that can potentially occur.
Dean Wiech is the managing director of Tools4ever.