Five Tips for Overcoming BYOD Challenges

Paul Mah

There is no doubt that BYOD is exerting an inexorable pressure on the way SMBs and SOHOs conduct their business. Indeed, the BYOD trend will only increase with the imminent release of Windows 8 on October 26, which is expected to herald a new wave of Windows RT tablets and hybrid devices. In a nutshell, the BYOD challenge is set to grow bigger, not smaller.

With this in mind, Matthew Dornquast, CEO and co-founder of Code 42 Software, has compiled a list of tips that companies can adopt to better protect corporate information and support the BYOD trend. I highlight five of them below.

Don’t Fight It

Dornquast argues that the arrival of employee-owned devices on the corporate network is inevitable, and that embracing it is the smarter option. He noted: “It’s always easier to implement controls on something if you are proactive and facilitating – rather than when playing catch-up or fighting the change.”

Conduct a Corporate Device Audit

Getting the details about the device population in your company will make it easier to formulate an overall BYOD approach and policies. Details on how often they use the devices will also be helpful, says Dornquast. Of course, some SMBs may be simply too shorthanded to do much on this front.

Conduct a Consumer Device Gap Analysis

In the wake of conducting a corporate device audit, determine which devices and applications employees prefer to use. Once known, it becomes possible to identify the gap that exists between current and preferred technology before moving on to plan an appropriate, phased strategy to bridge it.

Develop and Formalize your BYOD Program

As I’ve written previously in “Basic BYOD Policies for Your SMB,” it is crucial that SMBs implement BYOD-related policies to defend against potential data leakages. And because every organization is different, a “cookie cutter” approach will never suffice. Ultimately, a good BYOD program is one that meets your SMB’s compliance and security requirements regardless of the approach.

Develop/Enhance Your Disaster Recovery Strategy

According to a Symantec study, a typical company would have experienced six computer outages in the past 12 months, with the leading causes being cyber-attacks, power outages or natural disasters. And for all its convenience, it is arguable that the consumer-centric BYOD devices are comparatively fragile and susceptible to data loss.

Well, I’ve always been a proponent of performing proper data backups, which you can read more about in “Four Backup Tips to Prevent Data Loss in Your SMB.” The takeaway, though, according to Dornquast, is that businesses should evolve their disaster recovery plan to encompass the special needs presented by BYOD.

I will be going through the other five tips kindly furnished by Dornquast for overcoming BYOD challenges in my next post. Stay tuned.

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Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Sep 20, 2012 4:35 PM Spencer Parkinson Spencer Parkinson  says:
These are good tips. I’m a Symantec employee and I suggest the next step here -- and something Mr. Dornquast might bring up in his next five best practices -- is for SMBs to look towards technologies like mobile application management (MAM) to help manage their BYOD environments. MAM is a good fit for SMBs looking to take advantage of BYOD because it lets them manage and secure just their apps and data without having to place a stranglehold on entire devices and subsequently incur the costs of completely managing user-owned phones and tablets. Spencer Parkinson Symantec Reply
Sep 24, 2012 7:59 AM Michael Tobin Michael Tobin  says:
Hi Paul and Spencer, I am running a small office and I understand it is impossible to resist the BYOD trend. My question is whether there is free or low-priced software/solution out there to control the risk of BYOD? Thanks. Reply

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