Tight budgets and limited resources are no strangers to nonprofits, which often rely on a dedicated team of staff members and volunteers to achieve their mission. One of the best ways to overcome these challenges is by implementing a bring your own device (BYOD) policy, which allows employees and volunteers to use their personal devices for work purposes. This can save the organization money on purchasing and maintaining company-owned devices while giving employees the flexibility to work from their preferred devices.
However, using personal devices for work comes with its own set of challenges. Security issues, data protection, and the potential for misuse are among the major concerns for nonprofits when it comes to BYOD. This is why organizations need to establish best practices and guidelines for implementing a successful and secure BYOD policy.
Here are five best practices that nonprofit businesses should consider when implementing a BYOD policy.
1. Create formally written BYOD guidelines
The foundation of a successful BYOD strategy begins with a formalized document. A formal document outlining the organization’s expectations, guidelines, and security measures helps set clear boundaries. This policy should address the types of devices allowed, security protocols, data ownership, and acceptable use policies. By establishing these parameters, nonprofits can create a shared understanding between employees and the organization, fostering a culture of responsibility and accountability.
2. Promote good security habits for personal devices
With BYOD, there is a greater risk of data breaches and security threats due to employees misusing their personal devices. For all you know, they might be connecting to unsecured networks or accessing classified information outside the office.
This is where nonprofits need to step in and promote good security habits for personal devices. Employees should know to never share their devices, set strong and unique passwords, keep their software up to date, browse the internet safely, and avoid accessing company resources on public Wi-Fi networks. To instill these habits, organizations should conduct monthly security awareness training sessions that cover the risks and best practices for using personal devices for work.
3. Implement mobile device management (MDM) software
MDM software is a crucial tool for enforcing security measures and keeping track of devices connected to the organization’s network. To use it, nonprofits must first enroll devices by installing a software agent that connects the device to the centralized MDM server.
Once installed, system administrators can monitor device activity, set access restrictions, and even remotely wipe data in case of a lost or stolen device. Nonprofits can even easily distribute and update software on all enrolled devices to ensure they have the latest security patches. These capabilities essentially enable nonprofits to maintain consistent security policies across all personal devices used for work.
4. Set access restrictions for company-registered devices
Not every employee or volunteer needs access to all the nonprofit’s data and resources, so it’s important to set access restrictions according to job roles and responsibilities. For example, an employee in the outreach team may only need access to the organization’s email and social media accounts, while an employee in the finance department may require access to financial data.
You can define and set these access restrictions through MDM software to limit unsupervised entry to the organization’s servers and databases. Some MDM software can also set conditional access based on factors, such as location, time of day, device health, and network connection type, to further reduce the risk of unauthorized access.
5. Remove devices from the system when employees leave
As employees come and go, it’s essential for nonprofits to have a clear process for decommissioning devices. Neglecting this step can leave a door open for unauthorized access to organizational data. A thorough decommissioning process should include revoking access, wiping company data from the device, and removing it from the MDM system. This ensures that ex-employees or volunteers do not retain access to sensitive information.
A well-optimized BYOD policy can be a massive asset for nonprofits, enabling them to save money and resources while empowering employees to work from their preferred devices. But if you’re having trouble getting started, don’t hesitate to consult the technology experts at Varsity Tech. Our team can guide you on creating and implementing a BYOD policy that meets your nonprofit’s unique needs while maintaining security and data protection. Contact us now.