The fact is bring your own device (BYOD) programs are no longer the exceptions in business and government — they’re becoming commonplace. Yet BYOD can keep even the best CIO up at night worrying about the security of her company’s corporate data. Add to that the need to embrace employee choice and support a mobile workforce, and it can be a real nightmare without proper BYOD training.
Organizations that want to leverage BYOD without risking security breaches must ensure that they educate their employees about acceptable BYOD practices. There are a number of options in this area, all of which enterprises should carefully consider.
The first thing an enterprise should do is communicate its reasons for embarking on a BYOD initiative. Execs should let employees know why such a program is important and how it will help the organization.
Next business leaders should tell employees which devices, operating systems and apps will be supported on employees’ devices. It’s critical to explain the reasons for these decisions. For example, a company may not support the newest version of an application because it isn’t compatible with one or another plugin that’s used company-wide.
Since enterprise apps are accessed on employees’ own devices, BYOD training sessions are crucial for the company to communicate with the employees about their policies. Of course, it’s critical to discuss employee access to the corporate network, security, data ownership, as well as employee responsibility.
Talking about corporate access and security should include how employees access the corporate network from the corporate Wi-Fi as well as from the public Wi-Fi networks. Managers should also discuss what happens in the event a device is lost or stolen.
When it comes to data ownership, business leaders should discuss the use of corporate/personal e-mail, social networks, corporate/personal contacts, and the company data on the employee-owned device. BYOD training for employees should include how to properly log in to the corporate network, as well as how to receive software, applications and updates. And executives should ensure they tell employees to only download approved apps from the enterprise app store.
Employees must also be told about the consequences of breaching the responsibilities to comply with the policies and the results of breaching the corporate policies. The best way to get these points across is by stating them succinctly then opening the floor up to a Q&A session with employees.
Finally, business leaders should talk about the corporate support that will be offered to BYOD users, including the day-to-day support for each device as well as the escalation path for more serious issues.