As the mobile attack landscape continues to expand, bring-your-own-device (BYOD) management is under greater scrutiny than ever, especially if a breach occurs. Unlimited device choice, as BYOD theoretically offers, may be impractical for retailers who need to protect customer, inventory and financial data.
For example, do devices have sufficient security features to protect against hacking, or block access to data if they are lost or stolen? Can all employees efficiently connect with other devices such as meeting room displays and printers, if they each have different connectors? How can IT support such a broad range of devices in the event users experience technical issues?
Answering such questions without introducing more complexity is not easy. Most retailers have realized that the security risks are not worth taking on. According to Forrester, in a recent survey of retail IT decision-makers, 68% are not interested in employees bringing their own PCs to work.
Therefore selecting and provisioning a set of devices that your employees can choose from is a good middle ground; employees get choice, and organizations can ensure more consistent standards around data security and productivity.
Offer Employees a Choice of Company-Owned Devices
All end user devices should be company-owned and managed by IT under a program where you offer employees a choice of devices. This gives employees options - especially those that travel often or utilize mobile devices while interacting with customers in-store. And for IT and management, it reduces the risk and complexity associated with BYOD schemes. For any future scheme where you offer a choice of devices, consider the following:
- Procure business-grade devices with the highest level of build quality, support services, security features and connectivity options. For example, access prioritized tech support and on-site servicing. Or achieve the highest security standards with hardware-based fingerprint readers which are much harder to hack.
- Audit job roles in your organization to get user input on preferred device types. Today there are many types of device available, each with their own advantages for different worker roles. Gain user buy-in ahead of time to ease the transition to your new program.
- Look for devices with Intel® Active Management Technology, which enables IT managers to discover, repair and help protect networked computing assets. They can also remotely erase all the data on a device which has been lost or stolen.
- Simplify PC deployment with a solution like Advanced Deployment Services. This is a customizable self-install wizard that enables final configuration steps to be performed by your end users instead of a technician. Whether joining a domain, installing software, setting up printers or migrating data, you can empower your end users to self-serve and reduce the burden on IT admins.
- Use Windows 10 Pro security features to help protect data in the event of a human error or if a device is lost or stolen. For example, Windows Information Protection helps prevent unauthorized or accidental sharing of company information and allows you to remotely delete business data from a lost or stolen device. BitLocker data encryption, supported by many ThinkPad and ThinkCentre devices, will encrypt all data on a device, ensuring it cannot be accessed by unauthorized users.