Official TEKConn Blog

Encryption, remote wipe features essential for BYOD

Electronic devices used for work should be password protected and equipped with remote wipe features.

Electronic devices used for work should be password protected and equipped with remote wipe features.

Whether businesses embrace the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend or prefer employees to use company-purchased equipment, all IT assets should be treated according to the same standards.

It is important that organizations have clear procedures for when a device containing critical data is lost or stolen. Properly managed IT resources are essential for secure and successful business operations. An unlocked door can leave office hardware vulnerable to pilfering from individuals with malicious intent. An employee's smartphone or tablet can just as easily be stolen from a table at a coffee shop or a locker room at the gym

In either scenario, protocols should be in place to initiate a remote wipe and network privileges should be revoked for any lost device that contains or has access to sensitive information. Businesses also need to make clear any policies regarding inspections of phones and tablets for the purpose of removing sensitive data prior to an employee leaving their position with the company.

It is a good practice to have all employee-owned equipment approved by a manager before being used for work. In doing so, companies can avoid laptops, tablets and smartphones that do not meet the appropriate security standards. No personal mobile devices should ever be used for business purposes if they lack a remote wipe feature.

Furthermore, managers should frequently communicate with team members to make sure they are adhering to best practices, and to show employees that they are doing the same. All the safeguards in the world won't help if supervisors don't follow the same rules.

For example, electronic devices that leave the office should be password-protected, and files contained on them should be encrypted with a completely different passcode. This is another layer of security to stop unauthorized individuals from accessing information they should not be privy to.

These are just a few issues that companies should address before allowing employees at any level to conduct business operations on personal devices.