BYOD Security: What Happens When Employees Leave?

tech-officeThe idea of a self-provisioned workforce that BYOD policies introduce to the business world is one of the top reasons why businesses are continuously allowing their employees to use personal devices for work. Along with reducing the cost of buying devices for the employees, it improves productivity in that employees feel more comfortable working with devices that they are at home with. However, BYOD is a double-edged sword from the perspective of IT professionals, and the negative side of it is often realized once an employee leaves the company.

Out of spite, it is common for a fired employee to leave with sensitive company data or business secrets. Out of the 20% of employees that confirmed they would steal company data when fired, according to the Entrepreneur, 90% said that they would do so since their company didn’t have the policies in place to stop them. Which begs the question: what should you do to balance off the benefits and risks that having BYOD policies comes tied to?

Here are some insights to help you solidify your BYOD security protocol:

Start By Compartmentalizing the Risk

In whatever situation you might be, employees will almost always walk away with part of your data and secrets in the form of emails or business processes. The trick is to differentiate sensitive data from less sensitive data to optimize endpoint protection for your business. This will help to offer you enough visibility in the security of your BYOD policy.

You can start by dividing the data into compartments that you can monitor on their own. This will include parts such as email and mobile data and even company secrets. While you might not have a problem with laying off any of your current employees, there is no predicting what the future has in store. As such, IT heads should formulate strategies that will help in the protection of the company’s future data.

Monitor Data Transactions

You should ingrain a mindset among your workforce that any data within the company’s servers is the company’s property. Having policies that govern access management will make this easier. You will have the power to control factors such as who has the power to do what, for how long and from where.

Since employees will be using their own devices, it is common for them to keep copies within the devices, but this will not be good for your company if they leave. To help with this situation, you should consider adjusting your IT infrastructure to log and alert you of any employee who tries to copy company data. This will send a message that employees should by no means copy the data, especially if you have a strict policy for punishing anyone who does anything contrary to expectations.

Use Intermediary Technologies

Other than ensuring that employees cannot copy from your server, it is mandatory to limit the amount of data that they can download onto their personal devices. Once this data lands on these devices, it becomes impossible to track where it will be sent. This is where working with intermediary technologies that are cloud-based comes in.

For instance, a cloud provider that allows you to have control over what users can download and access will ensure that no sensitive documents ever get to leave the database unless when in use. Additionally, other technologies such as containerization will also help to solidify your security since it becomes easy to delete employee accounts and any company data on their phones remotely once they leave.

Do Regular Checks

office-phone

As much as you might work overtime to ensure that your employees are on the same page when it comes to your BYOD policies, there will always be defiant employees. To protect your company’s interests from such employees, do regular checks of the employee devices to identify anything that might be amiss. Since employees will already have been updated about your BYOD policies, they should be aware that their devices are subject to subtle scrutiny and updates.

Conclusion

Fired employees can be a threat to the existence of your business, and BYOD offers them a means to get back at you. However, this doesn’t have to be the narrative. Consider the tips above to solidify the security of your organization’s most treasured secrets.