How to Handle BYOD With the Whole Team Working at Home

If there is one thing the lockdown has taught us, it’s that BYOD is a possibility. Nearly anything is possible when there’s no other alternative. Teams that had been approaching the idea of remote work, mobile workforce, and employee-provided devices with caution are now finding themselves with whole teams at home with only the devices they own personally. Millions are at home on personal laptops, and working through tablets and phones once used only for personal purposes. Security is necessary, but now must be applied through the current at-home conditions.

BYOD has become a necessary reality, so businesses adapting need to adapt fast. Fortunately, the sudden unified work-from-home phenomena also has us nicely coordinated to all adapt to BYOD and remote work together. If you are ready to rebuild your team workflow through a variety of home devices, we’re ready to help. The key is to guide your team into the most secure group configuration using a wide variety of devices and possibly also connection speeds.

Let’s dive into the steps necessary to bring your entire BYOD at-home team into a cyber-secure working formation.

Take Inventory of the Devices in Use

Start by taking inventory. There’s no way to know the devices, risks, and capabilities until you ask everyone about their BYOD conditions. Expect a wide variety of device sizes, capabilities, and ages. You will see a lot of laptops, but there will always be a few people working from at-home desktop computers and possibly one or two working from tablets instead.

Take stock of the operating systems at play and how each device has been used before becoming a work devices. This is also a good time to get your team talking and rebuild that rapport that is essential to an efficient team workflow.

Identify and Help Anyone Without Adequate Devices

If anyone does not have a computer powerful enough or of the right operating system to do team work, address the problem. Companies across the country are tackling the work-at-home problem, including employees who do not have a powerful personal computer. Many people live on their phones and do all their technical work on office computers. You have several options to help team members who don’t have the right devices for BYOD, so make your plan and implement it to resolve any problems that arise.

Clean All Devices Together

Once everyone is ready to move forward with their devices, guide them through scrubbing those personal devices of all risky files and programs. Advise on how to save and backup personal files. Then have everyone install the same malware and file cleaning program and run the cleaning program at the same time. Depending on your redundant communication types, this may mean disconnecting while you clean. That’s one of the many reasons it’s a good idea to do your BYOD device cleaning together.

The other reason to clean together is so that you know each and every device has been recently scrubbed of malware as you enter a cybersecurity environment together.

Cover BYOD Device Security Rules

During or just after the group device cleaning, talk about cybersecurity rules. BYOD and remote work both have special requirements to keep company data safe. Talk about the importance of data safety and the potential consequences of a breach, like someone getting identity-hacked or company losses.

List the rules for safe browsing and app installation on any device used for company purposes. Talk about password security and device access, even with family members. Discuss the relative risks of getting hacked and what to do if a team member suspects they might have been exposed to malware.

Install the Same Security Software

Once the devices are clean and everyone is briefed on the importance of shared cybersecurity, it’s time to secure the personal devices. Have everyone on the team download the same firewalls, virus detection, and other security software used by your company. Walk them through custom configuration, including changing passwords and closing ports.  Then cover how to use the software and what to do if a team member receives an alert from the security software they have just installed.

Everyone should e relatively familiar with what each piece of software does and how to keep it running at all times. Make sure security software starts with startup.

Get On a Shared Secure Network

Your team will need to connect, sharing files and projects as part of the work you do. For this, you will need a secure and shared network that everyone will connect to. You can do this through a cloud platform, a virtual network, or a custom software solution. There are many ways to connect remote team members and their various personal devices securely and allow them to work on company files without exposing those files to security risks. Work with your IT team to create one of your many options and then walk team members into accessing the network and their work files.

Make Team Security a Team Responsibility

As you move forward, emphasize the importance of remaining vigilant while using personal devices for work purposes. Build a team spirit of camaraderie in maintaining the shared cybersecurity defenses. Remind everyone not to download personal apps or use the selected devices for anything especially personal while at home. Encourage team members to help each other log out, turn off cameras, save work, and close work files when they leave the desk. Work together to make team security a shared team responsibility.

Periodically Clean & Update Devices Together

Lastly and perpetually, help your team keep their BYOD devices clean. Every month to every six months, walk everyone through scanning and cleaning their devices again. This is a good motivation to save and/or delete all local files. It’s also essential to detecting malware that may have snuck into a personal device through browsing or casual use. Regularly scanning and cleaning BYOD devices can help to keep your network clean and protect employees who may not have the technical skills to scrub devices regularly on their own.

BYOD does not need to be a security nightmare if implemented correctly. Even with your entire team connecting with personal devices at home, you can take the smart steps to scrub devices, create security, and connect everyone to a clean, secure virtual network. Ready to get started on a secure remote work implementation? Contact us today!