4 essential cloud technologies for BYOD success
By Catherine McFarland • 22 May 2014
“By 2016, 20% of enterprise BYOD programs will fail due to deployment of mobile device management measures that are too restrictive.
In our growing BYOD world, where employees are using their personal devices for work, businesses are facing one of the biggest dilemma’s out there. How to find the right balance between on the one hand a secure, compliant, responsible business and on the other a competitive, agile, responsive business?
The yin and yang of BYOD
BYOD presents organisations with major security and compliance issues. If employees are using their personal devices to access corporate systems and apps without appropriate attention to security – for example without ensuring their device has a strong passcode, is updated and business data encrypted – there is a high risk of data breaches if the device is lost, stolen or in some way compromised. And the consequences can be severe. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) can fine organisations up to £500,000 for a serious breach of the Data Protection Act.
And yet, BYOD offers great flexibility and has been proven to boost employee productivity. They’re using a device they’re comfortable with, and they’re more likely to use it at their leisure, outside office hours for work-related business.
But here’s a question: should you have to choose between a secure business OR a flexible, competitive business? No. You shouldn’t.
BYOD and cloud technology
BYOD and cloud computing align naturally in five significant areas: security, employee visibility, corporate costs, productivity and virtualisation.
Cloud-based solutions allow businesses to flexibly AND securely communicate, manage, organise and share work from anywhere, on any device, at any time.
Security and BYOD
Security is one of the biggest concerns for businesses walking the BYOD path. While organisations can make sure that the devices THEY supply to employees have proper antivirus and malware protection, they give up some of that control with a BYOD model.
But that is now perfectly manageable.
With cloud computing services, all storage and data processing occurs outside the mobile device, so corporate data is more secure. And if a device is compromised, smart cloud technology can remotely block the device or – at its most extreme – wipe the data, preventing further access to any information the user has downloaded, such as files, emails or customer contact data.
Four essential BYOD technologies
Four must-have BYOD technologies for small and medium sized business are: 1) Office 365, 2) hosted VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol, otherwise known as Internet telephony), 3) collaboration and file-sharing and 4) hosted desktop.
1. Office 365
This is what Microsoft has called all your familiar Office applications, but hosted in the cloud. So you always have the latest versions right where you need them. And with Web Apps you can access your entire office from anywhere, as long as you have an Internet connection. Encryption and intrusion monitoring keeps you secure.
2. Hosted VoIP
Hosted telephony makes it easy to connect everyone in your business on a scalable, future-proof and secure platform. Unified communications for the mobile user can bring a whole host of features, including smart phone applications, audio conferencing, and online meetings with desktop sharing.
A cloud-based desktop with anywhere-access allows for high employee productivity from any location. You get an out of-the-box desktop that integrates seamlessly with your applications.
Security is enforced at logon using a remote desktop services protocol encryption, and access is restricted to a user’s specific files, folders and applications. You get immediate, automated upgrades and security patching. Plus your data is securely locked down, backed up and resilient from viruses.
This is a highly flexible, highly secure office dashboard in the cloud that allows you, in a single view, to access and share files with your team from any device, anywhere at any time.
A high spec collaboration and file-sharing app, such Cloud Direct: ABC can support more than 800 mobile devices, including iPhones, iPads, Android and Blackberry. It allows you to use your Office 365 licence to edit a document using WebApps and then plug into Outlook, providing a one-click public link from the document to an email. Security is HIPAA-compliant, and encryption secures file transmission and storage.
Make sure you check out a provider’s mobile device policy, so you can manage devices by, for example, deleting all of the work application’s content on a stole or lost smartphone or tablet. You may have heard of it being called ‘remote wipe’. Your policy should allow you to:
- Set global polices on allowing/disallowing the ability to create, edit and export content to other applications on mobile devices
- Require a PIN passcode on mobile devices each time the collaboration and file-sharing mobile app is accessed by the user
- Set a failed passcode threshold, and erase mobile device data upon passing that threshold.
This means that, if an employee’s device is stolen and the collaboration/file-sharing app launched, you can block access to any app data unless the correct pin code is entered. After five incorrect pin code entries, the app should clear all user data out if its cache and remain locked.
To make sure you protect your customer, your employees and your business, make sure you have a good, strong BYOD policy in place – one that is effected by all stakeholders, signed by the employee, maintained and enforced.
Need help kick-starting your BYOD policy? Download our free BYOD policy template here:
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