Benefits of BYOD: Banking industry success and best practices

By Scott Steinberg, on | Banking

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Thanks to rapid advances in technology, banking is now among the numerous fields enjoying the benefits of BYOD frameworks. Though this business approach offers considerable advantages, it’s important for banking industry leaders to employ some specific best practices in terms of operating models and procedures to get more out of BYOD opportunities and mobile devices. Below, you’ll find several ways in which financial professionals can enjoy all the benefits of BYOD while minimizing potential concerns surrounding this increasingly popular approach to business operations.

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To begin with though, let’s review several upsides regarding why it may make sense for employees to be allowed to utilize their own devices. The following are some benefits of BYOD programs:

  • Cost-efficiency: BYOD programs do not require enterprises to purchase myriad mobile devices, pay for additional wireless communications plans or train employees on new hardware in many cases.
  • Greater flexibility: Rather than work within the constraints of corporate-owned devices and the limited solutions, data sets and capabilities they provide access to, BYOD programs allow workers more room to maneuver and innovate.
  • More customization: Employees may also enjoy enhanced productivity and output by being allowed to customize user interfaces, ways to interact with information and methods of communications.

Of course, it’s important to consider numerous factors when designing a BYOD-based operating model, ranging from IT infrastructures to communication systems. However, in such a tightly regulated environment as banking, factors such as security and compliance become even more important concerns as well. Noting this, the following are some best practices with regard to BYOD solutions:

Be sure to leverage mobile device management tools

Many banking leaders purposefully install master applications on mobile devices that let them regulate user access, install additional software programs and run applications in a trusted environment. These tools also provide a secure channel to deliver and share information and wipe data remotely in the event of a loss or breach. Using these software-based systems, enterprises can also control when, where and how employees can gain access to business-related information/communications, as well as to what extent.

For example, Africa’s largest bank recently introduced a mobile application management (MAM) solution that offered workers access to virtualized applications, files and desktops, as well as email, intranet sites and centrally managed online tools and solutions. However, access to all can be shut down and data wiped instantly if a device is lost or stolen.

Enable multiple failsafes and backups

With security an increasing concern, more banking leaders aren’t just looking to take precautions in terms of network security and backups. Noting that human error is one of today’s largest sources of security breaches, they’re also actively taking steps to restrict the availability of sensitive information to only those individuals who need it — and to the extent needed on-demand.

In addition, finance professionals are also actively implementing more training and education programs around mobile devices and data. The more you educate your workforce and contain possible points of failure, the more you minimize the security risks you’ll face going forward. Banking Exchange offers several hints and tips for managing data, cloud architectures and virtualized infrastructures.

Implement records management and audit trails

Given the shift to virtualized, mobile and cloud-based environments, more data is moving online. Users are accessing this data in unstructured or nontraditional business environments. To keep pace with the BYOD comings and goings and stay alert to potential system compromises, banking leaders are making a point to monitor and track online logins, activity and more.

With regard to BYOD operations, every worker’s online interactions and exchanges should be tracked and communications logged. This can aid with maintaining compliance and ensure employees are following corporate policy. Making a point to do so won’t just aid with security, but also potential regulatory, legal and HR-related concerns as well. Citibank specifically recommends the following measures:

  • Implementing multipart verifications
  • Preserving login and email trails
  • Setting up dedicated app and device management systems

Once put in place, the device and app management systems should be able to establish schedules or locations from which employees cannot access business data on mobile devices.

Standardize tools and technologies

Numerous apps, tools and online services are often used by employees operating on their own devices as they go about pursuing business goals. Yet to maximize efficiency, it’s best for banking leaders to turn to standardized enterprise mobility solutions that can streamline workforce interactions and improve performance. Many providers now allow you to create your own dedicated enterprise apps or access a suite of online services off-the-shelf that can meet many day-to-day needs.

These solutions can help you take BYOD programs to the next level of performance and cost-efficiency. For example, a European financial services firm may find itself in a quandary when so many devices and software configurations across its network prevent IT teams from creating a consistent regulatory policy. To solve the problem while maintaining scalability, the bank could implement a single cloud-based solution for document management and an online access gateway, which will allow it to improve security and maintain compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley and other regulatory standards.

Use multiple ways to verify user identities

Finally, remember that passwords alone may not be enough to safeguard sensitive data. One of the benefits of BYOD devices is the opportunity to use multiple methods to authenticate users. For example, regularly changing keycodes and PINs (which on-device apps can generate or pull from online systems), secure servers or cloud networks, biometric solutions and more options available. As American Banker pointed out, the use of authentication, scanning and audit tools — plus network traffic intelligence solutions that detect suspicious activity — can prevent your financial services firm from security breaches.

Naturally, the benefits of BYOD are considerable. However, banking industry leaders must also be aware of concerns related to the use of this methodology, which can include numerous regulatory, privacy and security challenges, as they go about implementing a supporting operations model and IT infrastructure.

About The Author

Scott Steinberg

Keynote Speaker and Bestselling Author

Award-winning professional speaker, Scott Steinberg, is a bestselling expert on leadership and innovation, and the author of Make Change Work for You: 10 Ways to Future-Proof Yourself, Fearlessly Innovate, and Succeed Despite Uncertainty. Among today’s top-rated international speakers and strategic innovation consultants, he heads management consulting and market research firm TechSavvy Global, which helps clients identify emerging trends and opportunities, and create more powerful strategies for driving business growth and success around them.

Articles by Scott Steinberg
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