What is BYOD and How Does It Impact Your Wireless Network?

iPhone 5s

First, let’s discuss what BYOD means. In the simplest of terms, it stands for Bring Your Own Device. There has been an increasing trend toward employee-owned devices within a business. Most everyone has a smartphone these days, but that is not the only personal device employees are bringing in to the workplace. Many other devices commonly brought to the office include tablets, laptops and USB drives. All of these personal devices seek a data connection which can mean big demands on your secure wireless network.

How BYOD Can Impact Wireless Networks

When employees bring personal devices into the workplace, there are many ways in which it can impact your business and internet network. As more and more devices come into the workplace, it is critical that you consider the risks and have a plan to avoid issues.

User Support – Providing support for a multitude of devices can become problematic for an IT helpdesk. Although corporate issued devices are typically standardized (both in device type and brand), personal devices can include everything under the sun. Having to support a wide variety of devices can make it difficult for IT staff to resolve issues when users need assistance.

Data Breaches – Security risks are one of the more serious problems in a BYOD environment. When an employee leaves the company, they aren’t required to surrender personal devices. This can lead to sensitive corporate data being unsecured. Enforcing security policies on devices not owned by the company is an impossible task for any IT Department. Having the proper hardware or software controls in place can alleviate security concerns.

Network Overload – One of the biggest impacts can be overload on the network, creating a network bottleneck and other wireless network issues. An unexpected influx of devices on any network can slow down a company’s Wi-Fi network. With employees bringing their phones, tablets, and laptops it can be a real strain on network resources when all of those different devices connect.

Avoiding Bring Your Own Device Issues

Understanding some of the risks makes it easier to put plans in place to avoid BYOD issues. One of the ways to help secure sensitive data and your network is to implement a good access control policy. It is critical you set up the network with intelligent design that allows the IT Department to know who is doing what in your environment. A good management tool will allow you to see who is connected, when they are connected, and how they are connected to your network. You should also consider locking down user accounts to make sure no one has access to applications and data that is not necessary for their job function.

BYOD breaks traditional security protocol, simply due to the fact that the personal devices are outside of corporate control. An easy way to add another level of security to the BYOD environment is to implement a program where the IT Staff can remotely disable a user account. When an employee leaves the company, being able to instantly disable their account or remotely wipe a device can be critical in keeping the network and your data secure. It can also be helpful in preventing a data breech if a device becomes lost or stolen.

BYOD Benefits

As the demand for personal devices on corporate wireless networks continues, business owners will feel increasing pressure to allow such devices on their secure networks. Allowing personal devices in the workplace is not all bad. In fact, there are real tangible Bring Your Own Device benefits to take note of in a BYOD environment.

  • Increased Employee Satisfaction – employees are happier using devices they already prefer
  • Enhanced Productivity – using devices employees are already familiar with can mean faster responses to clients
  • Cutting Edge Technology – BOYD devices are typically more up-to-date and the company can reap the benefits of the modern features
  • Cost Saving – by allowing employees to bring and use their own devices they can always have up to date technology without the company incurring the cost for constant updates

Taking the Next Step

Allowing employees to connect personal devices to the corporate network doesn’t have to spell disaster. By taking a few precautions, you can keep your network and sensitive data secure.

With the right planning and preparation, implementing a BYOD environment can be a positive change for your business. There is a lot to consider when planning the BYOD solution that is right for your needs. The technical staff at Taylored Systems can help you navigate through the process and provide a seamless implementation. Contact Taylored Systems today for expert IT services to help you move forward today.