Use BYOD security to prepare for the post-holiday rush

By Will Kelly

After the holidays, many employees have new devices they’d like to use for work. This can become a test of your overall mobile strategy and policies, let alone your BYOD security. Your employees will be excited to use their new devices, but you don’t want to put your enterprise network at risk. What can you do to keep your enterprise safe without feeling like a Scrooge?

Here are some strategies to prepare for the influx of new devices:

Review your EMM platform

Keeping your corporate data safe during the post-holiday BYOD rush starts with a review of your enterprise mobility management (EMM) platform, mobility strategy and data governance well before the worries of year-end deadlines and holiday vacations take over.

When it comes to your EMM solution, review your licensing terms. Plan for more devices joining the platform, and calculate the additional costs (if any) your organization might incur when device numbers grow. You should also set your EMM solution to encrypt corporate data residing on new BYOD devices.

A mobility strategy needs to be agile and fluid, so this can be an excellent time to review the strategy if you’re predicting an influx of new BYOD devices.

Set a data governance policy

Data governance often becomes more complex when more mobile users begin accessing your corporate data. After all, BYOD has helped heighten the risk of data leaks through unsecured and malware-infected devices, according to TechTarget. It makes the new year a critical test for your mobile and data security. Decide what corporate data can reside on BYOD devices, and set a policy to keep data in the cloud or to wipe it from lost or stolen devices.

Download Gartner report on managed mobility services

Pre-stage your IT department

Before employees even leave for the holidays, pre-stage your IT department to prepare for the influx of new devices. This will involve:

  • Adjusting staff schedules to support BYOD device onboarding
  • Briefing IT department members for the new-device rush, detailing your onboarding strategy, expected device numbers and any management or user expectations
  • Setting up appointments for users to onboard their new devices when they return to the office
  • Performing a dry run of onboarding devices for any employees new to the process
  • Rehearsing any BYOD training you plan to offer

Review your enterprise app store

You need to review your enterprise app store to ensure your corporate-approved apps are the latest user-friendly versions your employees expect. Also, use the run-up to your post-holiday BYOD rush to review whether you have adequate licenses for corporate software such as your customer relationship management and other back-office applications to accommodate new mobile users.

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Exercise your cloud management chops

If you run a hybrid cloud environment, you can use cloud management tools to restrict access to your cloud infrastructure, according to Data Informed. For example, you might have an internal collaboration platform where employees store project documents. Instead of letting BYOD users access documents on your internal network, you can send them to a cloud platform synced to your internal document library for finding documents. The same goes for email: You can set up BYOD users to only access corporate email on their devices from the cloud.

Staff up for the BYOD rush

Just like retail stores staff up for the holiday rush, you might consider temporarily reassigning staff or even bringing in short-term contractors to staff up your service desk for the post-holiday rush. Even staffing up temporarily with some mobile device support specialists can help take the strain off the rest of your service desk, depending on the size of your enterprise.

Chat up BYOD in internal communications

If you have an internal newsletter or social feed, part of your news about the run-up to the holidays should focus on BYOD and employees who might want to enroll their new devices in your BYOD program. Try to gauge the potential influx of new BYOD devices through an online survey or a sign-up form. Engage employees to share their BYOD needs and expectations.

Ramp up employee education

Mobile security training can be all over the map depending on the types of compliance standards your organization must meet. According to App Developer Magazine, leadership should remind all employees of relevant data storage rules and restrictions at the beginning of the new year.

Your employee BYOD education should also include the following:

  • Accessible BYOD resources, such as an internal knowledge base available online for users
  • Step-by-step instructions for enrolling personal devices in your organization’s EMM solution
  • Onboarding training for individuals or small groups

Acknowledge responsibility

ITProPortal recommends making your BYOD policy tighter where appropriate because of vulnerabilities to phishing and the tendency to point the finger at a careless user when it’s more a problem of corporate responsibility. This acknowledgment can only elevate your BYOD support services and help set you up for success during and after your BYOD rush.

There’s no need to fear the post-holiday BYOD rush. Your organization just needs to spend time locking down your BYOD security and planning for the rush to make it a positive experience for your users — while maintaining your enterprise security, data governance and IT department’s sanity.

Written By

Will Kelly

Technical Writer & Content Creator

Will Kelly is a technical writer and content creator focusing on cloud computing, software-as-a-service, and enterprise mobility. He started his writing career writing technical documentation for commercial and federal government clients but now focuses on thought leadership content.…

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