Bring your own device (BYOD)—the concept of letting employees use personal mobile devices at work can be appealing to save cost. Secure execution however, can be challenging. BYOD raises many questions related to an organization’s costs, including greater network and data risk exposure, reduced visibility and control of patient data, and potential data leakage due to device theft. According to a recent survey, the number of respondents reporting that BYOD is permitted has declined from 88 percent in 2014 to 59 percent in 2017.*
Restrict BYOD to Smartphones
Consider the following points to balance user choice and flexibility, with optimal security and efficiency:
- Where possible, restrict BYOD to user-owned smartphones.
- We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: “The ultimate responsibility for security is – as always – down to the individual.” BYOD best practices include ongoing user education on threat vectors specific to healthcare, regulatory compliance requirements and their individual BYOD responsibilities.
- Embrace an enterprise mobility management platform such as MobileIron to simplify management of endpoint devices, or a mobile device management (MDM) solution like Microsoft InTune.
- Evaluate whether a cloud access security broker (CASB) agent-less solution can give you better data visibility and control than your MDM suite.
Offer a Choice of Devices Issued by IT
Beyond smartphones, all end user devices could be issued and managed by IT under a program where you offer employees a choice of devices. In this way, not only do users get choice, but your organization still benefits from the enhanced security features and common productivity standards found in business-grade devices like ThinkPad and ThinkCentre.
- Consider business-grade devices with the highest level of build quality, support services, security features and connectivity options. For example, access prioritized tech support and on-site servicing. Or achieve the highest security standards with hardware-based fingerprint readers which are much harder to hack.
- Audit job roles in your organization to get user input on preferred device types. Today there are many types of device available, each with their own advantages for different worker roles.
- Simplify PC deployment with a solution like Advanced Deployment Services. This is a customizable self-install wizard that enables final configuration steps to be performed by your end users instead of a technician. Whether joining a domain, installing software, setting up printers or migrating data, you can empower your end users to self-serve and reduce the burden on IT admins.
- Use Windows 10 Pro security features to help protect data in the event of a human error or if a device is lost or stolen. For example, Windows Information Protection helps prevent unauthorized or accidental sharing of company information and allows you to remotely delete business data from a lost or stolen device. BitLocker data encryption, supported by many ThinkPad and ThinkCentre devices, will encrypt all data on a device, ensuring it cannot be accessed by unauthorized users.
*Spok, The State of Mobile Communications in Healthcare: Device, Infrastructure and Access, 2017