New gadgets spell BYOD headache

As the latest techie toys flew off the shelves in time for Christmas, workplaces around Australia are now faced with a spate of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) requests.

Armed with brand new personal devices, many employees expect to use their smart-gadgets at work with full connectivity.

But before passwords are dealt out, Christopher Greig, Group Executive for Telco Business at Macquarie Telecom has a few tips to help businesses securely manage and welcome the influx of new technology:

Plan Ahead. Develop a roadmap, deciding in advance which devices you will, and won’t, support and which job roles will qualify for support.

Define Access Policies. Determine what end users must do to get corporate content on their device – eg. agree to password protect their device as a prerequisite to accessing corporate information. A good place to start is by looking at the policies you have already defined for your corporate PCs.

Determine Support Channels. Do you want to offer a help desk or do you want to focus on alternate channels, such as the web, the cloud, or grassroots support through user blogs and wikis? Do you want to offer all support to all job roles? Or do you want to segment them by groups – eg. revenue-generating roles eligible for all types of support, certain other roles eligible for a more limited menu?

Decide what you want to support and monitor for Actionable Data. For instance, will mobile users be allowed to download/ edit files or will they be restricted to read only? By integrating help desk support for all end-point devices, you can collect information about what’s happening to end users in the field. Did the latest iOS update improve or reduce productivity? Integrated support channels let you understand that and develop compensatory processes you can also adapt for future initiatives. Larger organisations may want to incorporate a mobile device management tool to help deploy and monitor policy, collect device information, and report on non-compliance.

Review policy and compliance on a regular basis. Conduct a post-mortem on help desk data every six months. Have devices been compromised? Is content secure? Have users violated policies? Review all device activity and adjust policies as necessary.

Help your end user. Don’t be the one to say no all the time. If possible, be the one who says yes.

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