The truth is in the data: when given the option to work flexibly, 87% of US-based workers take it. But if you’ve worked from home, you know it’s so much more than working in your sweatpants, although that is a plus.
Saving time from a long commute, having the option to work while you’re feeling under the weather, creating your own workspace: we could go on and on about the perks of remote work. But it also comes with increased challenges, unsecured devices being one of them.
With increasing Internet connectedness on every device we own—phones, tablets, watches, even our fridges—securing each one and every user becomes a nightmare for IT admins. COVID-19 and remote work accelerated the security risks of non-work devices being used for work.
If you can’t use desk phones for client calls, maybe you use your cell phone every once in a while. Or, you check your work email on your phone and see something you need to respond to, without being on protected Wi-Fi. This is why BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policies have become an essential part of every business’s security plan.
To support your BYOD policy, Microsoft 365 offers corporate security features to protect your organization, no matter which device or app you use. This means while keeping yourself and your data safe, you can stay connected and productive from anywhere. Here’s how.
What Is a BYOD policy?
BYOD stands for “Bring Your Own Device” and is a policy that allows employees to use their personal devices for business activities. This provides several benefits, such as increased efficiency and reduced IT costs.
BYOD policies typically include secure authentication and access control measures, encryption of data stored on the device, remote wiping capabilities in case of lost or stolen devices, and a secure VPN connection.
Pros & Cons of BYOD Policies
Like most everything, there are challenges to implementing and managing your BYOD policy.
Employees have increased mobility because they can access company data from any device. This helps them be more productive, as they can easily get the information they need to complete tasks. Additionally, employees will save money that would have been spent on purchasing work-specific devices.
For organizations, costs are reduced since employee-owned devices don’t have to be purchased or maintained. This, of course, depends on what your policy includes. If your team is completely remote, you might only have to pay for an app that everyone downloads on their phone so they can make secure calls, instead of purchasing an office full of desk phones.
The primary challenge when it comes to BYOD policies is security. If employee devices aren’t secure, they can be vulnerable to cyberattacks. Additionally, there could be data leakage if an employee loses their device or doesn’t take the proper precautions to protect company information.
Over 17% of employees use a personal device for work without telling IT. Without the right security, it can be extremely difficult to find breaches and stop them before they do serious damage.
And while BYOD comes with its advantages, it can also create more work for you because it’s another security policy to create, implement, and manage. You’ll have to get employees on board and regularly check in to make sure they’re practicing best security habits.
Instead of leaving all that work up to you, Microsoft 365 can help you manage your BYOD policy with its secure authentication, encryption, and remote wiping capabilities.
How Can M365 Simplify Security and Improve Your BYOD Policy?
Microsoft 365 offers corporate security features to help protect your organization from cyberattacks while keeping everyone connected and productive—no matter which device or app they are using. Here’s how M365 can simplify security and improve your BYOD policy.
Multi-factor authentication is required for all Microsoft 365 administrators, and more organizations are adopting it to protect their data.
With multi-factor authentication, an employee must prove they are who they say they are by providing not just one but multiple pieces of evidence (like a password plus a code sent to their phone). This makes it virtually impossible for attackers to access an account.
Data stored on devices or apps is automatically encrypted, so your information stays secure even if a device is lost or stolen. With M365’s encryption capabilities, you can be sure that only authorized people can access your data.
Remote Wiping Capabilities
You don’t have to worry if an employee’s personal device gets lost or stolen, as M365 can remotely wipe it to protect the data.
Zero Trust Features
M365 also allows for secure collaboration between teams, so all the data sharing and collaborating you do can be done in a safe and secure environment. Plus, with M365’s advanced security settings, you can control who has access to certain data or documents.
With a VPN, employees can securely connect to the company network and access data without worrying about security threats. This is essential for businesses that have remote workers who don’t always work at home. If they’re in a coffee shop or consistently connecting to public Wi-Fi, they can protect their data with a VPN.
Email Security Features
Advanced email security features like fraud protection and phishing prevention are vital parts of a BYOD policy. They help protect your data from malicious attacks, as well as prevent employees from accidentally clicking on dangerous links or giving away important information.
Business email compromise (BEC) has cost US businesses more than $2 billion in just 5 years. Those reports were done before COVID-19 and the major shift to remote work, so it’s likely the cost is much higher now.
M365 Cloud App Security
The cloud has become a staple for every business that has digital assets. With M365 cloud app security, you get visibility into the apps employees are using, so you can monitor and protect your data.
You’ll have control over what apps they’re allowed to use, as well as the ability to block certain downloads or activities that could put your data at risk.
Ongoing Management and Maintenance
With any tool, it’s important to know you’ll have continued support while you implement and maintain your BYOD policy. Microsoft 365 makes it easy for you to get support, with 24/7 access to security advisors and on-site consultations with experts.
Microsoft 365 also offers additional analytics and reporting tools so you can track usage and ensure that your policies are being followed. This helps keep your data secure while making sure employees have the tools they need to be productive.
To make BYOD policies easier for everyone, you can partner with a managed service provider for ongoing support. They’ll have the expertise and resources to help you manage your data security on an ongoing basis.
Finally, make sure to keep your policies up-to-date as technology and threats evolve. Microsoft 365 makes it easy for you to do this with automated alerts that let you know when changes need to be made so you can stay ahead of any security threats.
Easy M365 Management With Stability Networks
With Microsoft 365, you can take your BYOD policy to the next level by making sure that all of your devices—and the data on them—are secure. It’s an easy and cost-effective way to ensure your data is safe while still allowing employees to use their own devices.
With all of the tools and strategies you can implement from M365, it quickly becomes a job for an IT expert, not one you want to take on yourself. That’s why Stability Networks is here to help support your BYOD policy and make sure you have the resources and ongoing management you need for a secure solution.