Is Secure BYOD on Your Holiday Wish List?

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As you’re wrapping up 2013, the chances are good that new phones and tablets are being wrapped up as well – ready to enter your enterprise at the start of next year whether you’re ready or not. When employees return to work bearing shiny new devices, will you be singing “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” or “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” as the cold reality of BYOD sets in?

With new devices introduced from Apple and Samsung, tablets are some of the most popular holiday gift items. IDC estimates that tablet shipments will reach 221 million this year and the abundance of iPads flying off the shelf this month will play a huge role in that figure.

Whether you are just getting started with your BYOD initiatives or striving to improve your existing program, here is a six-step plan to help you embrace your employees’ precious mobile gifts and keep your security and productivity goals on track this holiday season:

1) Get wise: There is a wealth of knowledge available about mobile trends and BYOD best practices. Get tuned in and do your research. Check out success stories, analyst opinions (check out our “Strong Positive” rating from Gartner), and recent media coverage to stay current about approaches to BYOD that work. Looking for a white paper to help you navigate the BYOD waters? Look no further: “5 Best Practices for Secure Enterprise Content Mobility.”

2) Put your organization first. There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all BYOD program. The size of your organization, the regulations governing your industry, your risk tolerance, and your budget, all factor into how you should manage and enable mobile devices. Don’t lose sight of what your organization needs –don’t bend your priorities to mold a solution that’s not the right fit.

3) Employees matter. Your users are at the center of your BYOD program – both the people and the devices they carry. Catalogue what types of devices are entering the workplace; what operating systems need to be supported; how devices are being used; what content needs to be accessed and where it resides. For a full list of items to boost mobile productivity without compromising security, download: “10 Mobile Security Requirements for the BYOD Enterprise”.

4) Prepare policies. Based on the needs of your organization, create policies to guide approved BYOD usage. This topic warrants its own blog entry, so look for part two of this BYOD discussion for a deep dive on policy development.

5) Aggregate content. While it’s probably not realistic to consolidate all of your enterprise data in one place, you can make it appear to users as if you have. Pick a tool to easily access, edit and share content across multiple data repositories to make mobile access seamless and straightforward.

6) Spread the word: Rolling out a BYOD program is not a one-time process. It’s critical to engage and support employees throughout the year with training and self-service resources such as FAQs and an easy-to-use sign-up portal. Yes, employees can use their own devices, but in accordance with BYOD policies and processes established by you and regularly enforced. Keep users in the know about any changes in procedures and/or new security threats.

Here’s to a productive 2014! Whatever your plans may be for your mobile-enabled workforce, we’re here to make your BYOD wishes come true.

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