BYOD and Employee Trust
*This post originally appeared on the Pulse Secure blog prior to the acquisition in December 2020, when Pulse Secure became part of Ivanti.
BYOD management and security software allows organizations to offer employees the flexibility to choose what devices they work with, but many employees may feel uncomfortable with the idea of constantly “being watched”. This perception needs to be managed well by employers and early measures must be taken to ensure that productivity is enhanced rather than hampered by implementing a BYOD policy.
The average employee today faces a blurring line between personal and professional life, thanks to the increasing adoption of BYOD in the workplace. Having to sign up and agree to strict user policies can increase the trust gap between employers and employees. Legal guidelines on disclosure of personal data on smart devices may further widen this gap. It has been a conscious effort by advocates of the BYOD policy for companies to be completely transparent about what they can and cannot see on their employees’ devices.
Here are three ways you can maintain the privacy of your employees’ personal information while ensuring that you are monitoring and protecting corporate data flow across the devices being used in your network:
1. Data Privacy and Transparency is of Prime Importance
All organizations looking to implement a BYOD policy must be fully aware of the extent to which they can access data on their employees’ devices. Data privacy legislation varies from region to region, making it all the more challenging for multinational companies to implement a common, business-wide policy. Features such as activity tracking, lock and wipe, and basic monitoring generally involve the processing of personal data and applications, the details of which must be disclosed to employees enrolled under the BYOD policy.
2. Manage the Data Rather than the Device
Implementing Mobile Application Management (MAM) ensures that only work-related data and applications, and the employees’ access to corporate data will be controlled. MAM can specify how corporate files and data will be stored and shared on the device, and ensure that only corporate data and applications are wiped when the employee leaves the organization or loses the device. This will facilitate a clear separation of personal data from professional data.
3. Getting Employee Consent Goes a Long Way
The best way to implement a BYOD policy which will benefit both the employee as well as the organization is to be transparent. Specifying the employers’ rights and responsibilities and the exact nature of data that can be accessed, along with information on the consequences of losing the device must be clearly outlined in this policy. Divulging the fine print of the policy through a clear, well-written document and getting official employee consent will avoid the risk of a lawsuit in the future.
Experts agree that transparency is the key to bridging the trust gap when implementing a BYOD policy. Pulse Secure offers a wide range of solutions to securely access corporate data on personally owned devices. The Pulse Secure Client, working with Connect Secure and Policy Secure, relieves any concerns an employee may have about the flow of personal data over the corporate network. Additionally, the Pulse Workspace provides a trusted container that secures corporate applications, while maintaining the native user experience.