The general company culture around the world has changed a lot today. Most employees like to use their personal devices at their workplace for work as they find them convenient and helpful towards productivity. In fact, Cisco found that BYOD (Bring Your Own Devices) policy actually increases the level of satisfaction and productivity of employees.
When companies ban the usage of personal devices at work it can often push employees to use them secretly anyway. This can result in the violation of data security and open gateways to cyber-attacks and data breaches. Perhaps this is the reason why more and more companies have started offering BYOD on their own accord, to strike a balance between the average employee’s requirements and business productivity.
If you are going to allow your employees to use their personal devices, then it is important that you secure the new environment first. You also need to follow the basic security measures for the existing devices for maximum protection. The following are some excellent tips covering this aspect:
- Installing Antivirus Programs
Using advanced antivirus programs on company computers is security 101. You can find the best antivirus for Windows for your specific needs and install it on all the company computers. You can also ask your employees to install the program on their personal laptops so that they can work with sensitive company data without risking a data breach or virus attack.
- Creating a Strong Email Security Policy
E-mails constitute a large portion of a company’s daily communication. Thus, it is important that you put a strong email security policy in place. In fact, if you are already using a professional business suite such as Cloud 365, then it can be implemented very easily.
Two of the things that you can do here include:
- Limiting the Size of Email Attachments: By limiting the size of email attachments that the employees can send you can ensure that only appropriate/permissible information is shared on the IT network. This is because usually there is no need for sharing large size files.
- Creating a Retention Policy: In most cases, your employees won’t need to go and check emails sent or received more than a few months ago. Thus, you can create an email retention policy that automatically deletes emails that are three of four months old. This lowers risk to a great extent, as otherwise, a hacker could get access to years of emails stored on the database.
To bolster email security policy, you can also use a paid or free antivirus software that offers additional protection just for emails.
- Hiding your IP Address
One of the best ways to maintain security and privacy in today’s online environment is to conceal your real IP address. Doing this can make it difficult for cybercriminals and hackers to tap into your company network and cause damage.
There are varieties of things that you can do to hide the company’s IP address. For instance, you can use a VPN service, proxy service, or use a tool like the Tor browser.
- Implementing MDM
MDM, or Mobile Device Management, should be an essential component of your company’s IT security protocol. It can allow your security team to have better control over the devices used by your employees. They can monitor the activities on these devices, and also use a number of security features on the fly including remote locking, remote factory reset, passcode policy implementation, etc.
- Educating Employees and Enforcing Rules
Employees must be made aware of the potential vulnerabilities associated with device usage at work. For instance, they should know how phishing emails and malicious programs can be identified and avoided. They should be aware of what security precautions to take when communicating with someone online.
Even though employees own their devices, when using them in the business environment, they must follow certain rules which can be set by the IT department. For instance, they may not be allowed to access any other network other than the company’s. The network itself could be configured in a way that the employees can only access a limited number of approved websites.
Whether your employees bring their own devices to work or use the company’s devices, it doesn’t change the fact that there will always be security risks. Unless proper measures are taken in advance, your business can easily end up compromising on its sensitive data. You should thus pay heed to the tips above and take appropriate actions ASAP.