BYOD (Bring your own device)

Bring your own device or BYOD in organizations is a growing trend where employees connect to their organization's network and access corporate resources using their personal devices. This means employees could make use of their personal laptops, mobile devices or tablets as work devices. As many organizations maintain a flexible schedule and has employee who are always on the go, BYOD provides the means for improved productivity.

How does BYOD work?

BYOD is a concept of IT consumerization that is equally benificial for both the employers and the employees as it allows employees to use their preferred tools for accessing sensitive corporate information anytime and from anywhere.  As an employer, the first step to make BYOD work is to develop a BYOD policy that outlines the device types that are sactioned and the employees who can levarage the BYOD policy. These users must adhere to all the policies while using their personal devices at work. 

 

 

  

While the advantages of BYOD such as improved productivity and reduced cost has increased it's adoption in enterprises, it has also increased the security risks since business critical data is accessed from personal devices. That's why it is essential for organizations to build a stringent BYOD policy or deploy a BYOD solution to manage devices accessing corporate data.

As the number of organizations embracing BYOD increases, bring your own device management or BYOD management becomes as vital as managing corporate owned devices. With the help of a BYOD software, organizations can manage employees personal devices and approve the devices that can access corporate data. This enhances BYOD security and reduces the potential risks involved with employees using their personal devices to access corporate data.

Advantages and benefits of bring your own device (BYOD)

  • No learning curve: As the employees are already adept in using these devices, there's absolutely no learning curve and the users can immediately start work. This technology familiarity helps improve employee satisfaction and efficiency.
  • Remote access to corporate data: Using personal devices ensures uninterrupted access to corporate data, thereby enhancing employee productivity by allowing them to work from anywhere and at any time.
  • Cost-efficient: As employees bring in their personal devices, the organization need not procure new devices, thus reducing the overhead expenses to be borne by the organization.

Disadvantages of a BYOD setup

To build an effective BYOD policy, organizations must first understand the challenges associated with BYOD management.

  • Security: As corporate data is stored alongside personal data and apps, it increases the chances of unauthorised data sharing.
  • Loss of device: While corporate devices are usually restricted to the organization's premises, the same is not true for personal devices, making them more susceptible to theft and loss. This increases the chances of unauthorised data access.
  • Device Disparity: Corporate devices provided by organizations are usually procured from a single or couple of OEM vendors. However, in a BYOD setup, where employees use their personal devices, the organizations must make provisions to manage different types of mobile devices.
  • Privacy: From employees' perspective, organizations taking control of their devices for management, might be considered as an infringement on their privacy.

While a BYOD policy outlining the allowed devices, security practices, access requirements can help reduce some of the security risks, it is advisable to deploy a mobile device management solution in the organization to tackle the hidden security risks of a BYOD setup and simplify BYOD management.

ManageEngine's Mobile Device Manager Plus, doubles as a BYOD solution that allows you to manage corporate and personally-owned devices from a single console.

How to secure bring your own devices with Mobile Device Manager Plus?

Mobile Device Manager Plus is a complete mobile device management solution that can be used as a BYOD MDM by organizations to simplify corporate device and BYOD management from a single console. The following capabilities of Mobile Device Manager Plus help address the challenges of BYOD management.

  • Simple and quick onboarding
  • MDM provides appropriate onboarding methods to help in easy device enrollment. The IT admin needs to send an enrollment invite via e-mail or SMS and the employees can follow the instructions to enroll their devices within minutes. This BYOD solution ensures that the user is authenticated before onboarding the user's device. Authentication is done using the Active Directory (AD) credentials of the employee or simply using a one-time password (OTP) or both. Yet another option is the self-enrollment method, where employees can enroll their devices by accessing the enrollment link from the organization's public forum/ self-service portal. Further, as MDM can handle device disparity, multiple platforms (iOS, macOS, tvOS, Android, Windows 10, and Chrome OS) and multiple device types (smartphones, tablets, laptops, and desktops) can be managed effortlessly from a single console.

  • Efficient management of personal devices
  • In organizations which have a mix of corporate and personal devices being used, the IT admins need to configure separate set of policies for each category. This can become cumbersome when dealing with a large number of devices. MDM allows clustering of personal devices into groups after which specific policies and apps can be distributed easily. Thus a clear segregation between the management of personal and corporate devices is ensured. Once the policy is associated, any time a personal device is brought under management, the IT admin simply needs to add the the device to the group and all the policies will get applied on it automatically. In case the employee has moved to a different department the device can be moved to a different group pertaining to the department, which automatically revokes the policies previously applied and implements the new ones on the device.

  • Managing only corporate data
  • MDM permits containerization of corporate data on the devices. The logical container separates the corporate data from the personal data. There is no possibility of a privacy breach as the IT admin will have no control over the personal data. Enterprises can only manage the corporate space while ensuring there is no unauthorized access/sharing of corporate data. Thus, using MDM as the BYOD solution permits both personal and corporate data to co-exist on devices. Furthermore, the corporate data is encrypted and stored in the containers to ensure security. Learn more about containerization in Android and containerization in iOS devices.

    Containerization to segregate corporate and BYOD application on bring your own device

  • Pre-configuring policies
  • Basic configurations for Wi-Fi, E-mail, Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) etc, can be predefined on the devices using MDM. This saves time and helps improve work productivity of employees. Device restrictions. can also be applied to ensure secure access to corporate data and/or to ensure devices adhere to certain organizational security standards.

  • Managing corporate apps
  • An App Repository can be created within MDM that contains the required set of apps to be installed on the employee's devices. Store apps (Android, iOS, Windows 10, Chrome OS) and even in-house (enterprise apps) that are not available for public download on the Internet can be made available to the employees by distributing them using the MDM. Settings and permissions for the apps can be preconfigured (supported for iOS, Android and Windows 10), thereby making them ready to use on installation with minimal user intervention.

    MDM also integrates with Android Enterprise (also referred to as Managed Google Play), Apple Business Manager (previously known as Apple Volume Purchase Program), Windows Business Store, and Chrome Web Store to ensure that apps can be silently installed/ updated/ uninstalled without any user intervention. For this, the devices need to be Supervised in the case of iOS and provisioned as Device Owner in the case of Android.

  • Device maintenance
  • For effective BYOD management, the devices can be scanned periodically to fetch basic device data such as OS version, apps installed, etc., in order to ensure the devices accessing corporate data adhere to organization compliance standards. In case a device is running an outdated OS version, the OS can be updated automatically or even scheduled to take place at a specific time, using the MDM. This ensures that the OS updates do not interrupt the work hours of the users, helping them to be more productive.

    As the devices are handy and portable, there are high chances of them being lost/stolen/misplaced. In such a situation, IT admins can use MDM to remotely lock the device to prevent unauthorized data access and also fetch its location. In case the device has been misplaced within the organization's premises, a remote alarm can be triggered on the devices to help retrieve it. In case the device is lost/stolen, Lost Mode can be enabled on the device which will automatically lock it down. The locked device screen can be configured to show a phone number, a call button, and a customized message to make it easier for anyone finding the device to contact its rightful owner. To ensure device cannot be unlocked from Lost Mode by providing the device passcode, the MDM provides the option of resetting the passcode. Lastly, the IT admin can choose to wipe the device to prevent misuse of data.

    Ensuring BYOD security with Lost Mode

    Further, in case the employee encounters an issue on the device while not being in the organization's premises, the IT admin can remotely troubleshoot the device by viewing the device screen or controlling it. To ensure user is fully aware of this, MDM prompts the user to accept a remote session or in case of iOS, the employee needs to perform certain functions on the device to initiate a session.

    When an employee leaves the organization, the device can be deprovisioned automatically which will wipe the corporate data while retaining the personal data.

Simplify BYOD management with Remote Control

 

Want to secure your BYOD deployments?

Give ManageEngine's BYOD MDM solution, Mobile Device Manager Plus a try free for 30 days and simplify BYOD management in your organization while securing corporate data.

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