There’s a lot of excitement nowadays about the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend, in which employees use their own smartphones, tablets, or laptop computers to access the corporate network via wireless. But before you set up those wireless access points, there are a number of questions to consider.
Who’s allowed into the network?
The first step to managing BYOD is to decide who gets on your network. Do you have an open BYOD policy that lets any device connect to your network through wireless? Do you let anyone in, but make him or her register? Do you authenticate users via password? Do you allow only known devices onto the network? Do you support all devices and operating systems?
How much access are BYOD devices allowed?
Do you allow employees’ personal devices full network access or restrict them to Internet access only? If you allow full network access, is there a security policy in place to prevent company confidential information from being loaded into devices that may be lost or stolen?
How safe are BYOD devices and what are you going to do about them?
There’s more malware out there all the time, and it’s affecting more devices than ever. This is a problem not limited to laptop computers—the popular Android™ operating system for phones has a large amount of known malware. How will you screen connecting devices to make sure they have updated patches and don’t contain malware?
What about licensing?
Do employees want to use corporate software on their personal devices? Do your software licenses have terms that enable you to install the software on machines that are not company owned?
How will you handle roaming?
Can your wireless system handle users who move from access point to access point without dropping sessions or requiring users to log in again?