Many small businesses are unaware of the risks that arise from BYOD (bring your own device), mostly because of their lack of knowledge of the security issues, or because they don’t understand that a proper acceptable use policy needs to be in place. Here, then, is a list of things to look out for when considering BYOD security issues:
- Thanks to the prevalence of such things as cell phones and tablets, it’s common for the average small business owner to not see anything wrong with the employee using his/her cellular device to connect to the data network. However, as a small business owner, data protection — not employee convenience — needs to be the top priority.
- If you, as a small business owner, do allow cell phones to connect to your data network, you need to have a lockdown plan in place should the phone(s) get lost in the field (and given that 30 billion cell phones were lost in the United States last year, this is quite a likely possibility).
- Who owns the data? The answer to the question should be obvious — any work product generated for the company belongs to the company — but without a formal data ownership procedure in place, the waters can become muddied and can create a security issue in the future.
- Finally, but perhaps most importantly, any BYOD policy needs the support of the C-level executives. If your “higher-ups” don’t follow the rules you put into place, don’t expect the lower-level employees to follow the rules.
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