It’s a growing trend to give employees laptops, tablets, and smartphones for handling business-related tasks. For many corporate environments, desktop computers just aren’t flexible enough. But BYOD, or Bring Your Own Device, policies are filled with security pitfalls and procedural problems, even if they might initially save your company better.
Whether you’re shopping for new business devices for predicted expansion next quarter or you’re resetting devices for the new employees following a bit of turnover, you can’t just let your employees turn on the computer and get to work immediately. Here are four steps you need to take first:
1. Don’t pick the cheapest business devices.
Brand names aren’t always a guarantee when it comes to quality. But when it comes to technology, make sure to research the brands and stick with ones you know. Devices that come at a discount or a full suite of free or open source programs can include malware.
These programs might not infect the devices with something as aggressive as ransomware, but they can easily record the data that’s input through them. That can range from text written in your legal department to every action a CEO takes on their business phone.
Find computers, tablets, and devices that you can trust, even if they come with a bit of a bigger price tag.
2. Get rid of bloatware and suspicious programs.
In fact, it’s best to deconstruct the software down to the bare bones as soon as you get it. If there are programs on the device that your employees are unlikely to use, get rid of them. Not only are you removing the risk of potentially malicious software, you gaining back computer space. An over-full C:// drive isn’t the biggest IT problem your company will face, but employees who encounter the annoyance can turn to solutions that do cause problems.
Bloatware, like the name implies, uses up a lot of space and slows down the device. Sub-par editing tools, browsers, and programs should be removed, and sponsored games are an even bigger waste of valuable real estate.
3. Install all of the software and set the defaults.
At the same time, each of your company devices does need a standard set of tools and preferences. Before you hand the laptop off to a new employee, download any programs that the computer needs to have. While it’s more common for business functions to be handled by SaaS and online portals, there are still a few things every computer needs. This includes antimalware programs, your company’s preferred browser, and virtual meeting software.
If there is any tool that your coworkers or employees in other departments use, make sure the related program is installed on the computer safely. That makes it far less likely an employee will install the wrong .exe file or something from an unverified site.
Make this step easier by surveying your company’s department heads and team leads. If you have a standard list of what each new hire’s team has, you can make installing the software more standardized. Even better, you can ensure nobody has programs they probably shouldn’t.
4. Make sure the computer is remotely accessible from a central authority.
One of the most important settings you’ll want to get firmly in place is the ability to access the computer remotely. If a computer gets lost when a salesperson is on a trip, you need to be able to wipe the hard drive and delete data before it’s compromised. If a disgruntled former employee doesn’t return their device, you need to be able to both wipe the device and track it to stand a chance of getting it back.
For more procedural tips and ways to streamline your company’s IT processes, go to IT Networks Australia Pty Ltd here.