The modern office has changed. It no longer requires you to have rows and rows of computer terminals lined up in small cubicles for your employees to work. In fact, most employees remain happier and do a better job when they are able to work on their own schedule. Or at the very least, with their own computer and around the office (sometimes just a change of scenery within the office can do wonders).
However, when people bring their own devices (BYOD, or bring your own device), it can leave your entire network susceptible to problems. Your employees will take these computers home and use them as their personal computers as well as their professional computers. This means they are checking emails, social media accounts, visiting ticket purchasing websites, and so on.
You never know what kind of malware or virus might attach itself to these BYOD computer systems. That is why you need to take BYOD and security seriously. You don’t want the entire network infected because someone else brought something in. So here is what you need to know about BYOD and security.
Create A List Of Blacklisted Applications
There are specific applications you need to completely blacklist your employees from using with their device they are bringing to the office. Certain applications open up the entire computer for possible issues, and when a computer is facing malware and viruses it puts everyone else in the office at risk. If your employees want to use these applications at home they will need to do so on a completely different computer that is never brought into the office.
What kind of applications need to be blacklisted? Any kind of file sharing application should not be allowed. If you ever used applications like Limewire when you were growing up you know these file-sharing services are great at two things: getting copies of programs and getting infected with a virus. It’s simply far too risky. While your employees probably shouldn’t be looking for ways to illegally download programs, to begin with, what they do on their own is not your concern, as long as they don’t bring the blacklisted applications to your office.
For a full list of blacklisted applications, you should talk with IT professionals. Professionals will go over all the applications and programs you need to blacklist from any BYOD. This will help elevate your BYOD and security services.
Do not have an open network. This is the last thing you should do. Instead, whenever an employee is attempting to log onto the office network they need to provide a login and password. You should also set up specific password requirements that make it difficult to steal this information. Having this gateway through the network firewall will help add a level of security and help you prevent any kind of unauthorized access beyond.
Always Backup Your Data
Mistakes happen. Sometimes a virus can sneak through the cracks. It happens. Major corporations that spend millions of dollars in network security run into issues like this from time to time. It usually had nothing to do with the business being lazy or not taking data security seriously. A skilled hacker just happened to make it through and siphon off information or crash the network. You need to prepare for this exact situation.
Murphy’s Law states that if something bad can happen it will happen. Basically this means you need to prepare for every possible situation. As long as you’re prepared for the situation it really doesn’t matter if it happens or not. Yes, it might be a slight inconvenience, but you’ll be prepared for the possible outcome. So, if a virus does find its way onto the network and begins to cause problems you will want to have a sound backup to draw from. With a constantly updated backup, you’ll have all the network files at the ready.
Sometimes viruses can come in the form of ransomware. Ransomware will lock down your ability to access anything on the computer. It will ask for you to send money somewhere and, once received, it will give you the password to remove the ransomware. First, never pay this because while the password will likely work the ransomware will probably leave traces of another virus or secondary ransomware. Instead, you need to disconnect from the Internet and, if it is not possible to remove the malware from your computer or network, you can rely on the data backup. It is an annoyance and takes some time to install the data backup. But having this backup can save you all kinds of headaches later on.
Talk To Your Staff about BYOD and Security
It might sound simple, but most malware ends up on a network because it is allowed in. Someone might click on an email that is infected, or they might go to a website that isn’t secure. You need to talk with your employees about how they use the devices they bring into work. By taking BYOD and security seriously you’ll protect your business and your employee’s computer systems.
Protect Your Network And Your Employee’s Computers
Network protection often begins with your employees and what they do on their computers. Allowing employees to bring computers to the office can make it easier for them to get work done at home and while away from the office. However, it also puts your entire office network at risk. If their computer is ever infected there is a greater chance it will leach onto the network (kind of like one kid with a cold going to school. In all likelihood other children when they become infected with the same cold). In order to protect your office network, it is important for you to practice these different BYOD and security measures. And for additional assistance in setting up the best firewall and network security, make sure to give the team at Charlotte IT Solutions a call.