By Ted Girdner, VP, Strategic Initiatives and Business Development
(NAPS)—According to Pew research, eight out of 10 Americans have smartphones and many of them bring their phones to work and just about everywhere else.
This BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) world can be good for business because it can save a company money as employees bring and use their own devices on the company’s networks. It can also lead to security difficulties.
Fortunately, I have found four things that can be done to help your business succeed:
- Gatekeeping. Decide who can use personal devices on your premises and how they can use them. Establish policies on handling and protecting sensitive data and what sites can and cannot be accessed. Determine who, if anyone, is allowed to access personal sites or surf the Web during downtime. Make sure employees are well trained about this and clearly outline the consequences of violating these policies.
- Go beyond passwords. Set up your system so it takes more than a password to get in. Some devices require thumbprints. Some systems will ask a specific question or test users with a picture.
- Prioritize the data. Determine who’s on the network—employees, customers—and what they’re doing. Decide which data relates to business and which is personal to your employees. You might even consider setting up a separate network just for nonessential data. That’s where Comcast Business’s Wi-Fi Pro can make a real difference. It lets you offer customers their own separate Internet while they’re on your premises. Meanwhile, you can use it to promote daily specials or link to social media to increase “likes” and “follows.” Plus, you’ll be better able to understand what your customers want through reports on demographics, average shopping times, and foot traffic.
- Build up your bandwidth. Regardless of how many networks you have, you need to have enough bandwidth to meet the needs of your business. Otherwise, as employees use the network, your business operations could be compromised.
How much bandwidth you need depends on how many people use the network, how many sites they access and how many ways (videos, conference calls, e-mail) they use it.
Fortunately, bandwidth is inexpensive and easy to get with today’s technology. Going from 10 to 200 megabits of bandwidth is simple. Bandwidth alone doesn’t make a business successful, but it’s important for communicating with customers, vendors and employees.
It’s how a business leverages bandwidth to help it create new ideas, entice customers, get orders, deliver products, pay vendors, and communicate and make connections, that does.
Remember to consider these steps to creating a secure network and be sure you have all the bandwidth you need, so that you can have a BYOD program that suits both your business and staff.
For information on how communications technology can help your business, go to http://cbcommunity.comcast.com
Good guidelines can help companies save money and workers use their own communications devices.