Mobile Device Management
Companies (like the boT) who provide mobile devices or reimburse their employees for using personal mobile devices for business purposes may be facing some new challenges beyond the monthly cost of the devices.
Unfortunately, many small businesses have never added a written mobile device policy to their employee handbook and worse yet, do not have a comprehensive plan to secure data on devices used for work.
Often many business owners have the misconception that, “we’re too small for anyone to hack,” or, “updating the handbook isn’t a priority right now.” Unfortunately, if your business is served with a lawsuit from a disgruntled employee or suddenly your business is on the evening news because sensitive data leaked, it will be too late to fix this problem.
The good news? An ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure. Below are a few ideas that may help…
1. Check your local state laws...for example, in California, if an employee uses a personal device for business, you must reimburse them for the percentage of their monthly service plan (including taxes) used for business. Most firms have a companywide standard stipend amount they allocate monthly to reimburse employees. This amount typically covers all of the monthly service costs for the employee.
2. A quick Google search can provide the framework for a written mobility acceptable use policy for corporately provided devices. Your human resources department can use these ideas to create a policy that fits your company’s needs.
Unfortunately, for the City of Ontario, California, they did not have a written policy and had to fight a lawsuit all the way to the Supreme Court:
3. It is also a best practice to have a clearly written plan for data security/ sharing/ acceptable apps to be installed on a corporately owned device and a policy to enforce it. Mobile devices are an extension of your computer network and are vulnerable to being hacked. Remember, Troy fell because of the original "Trojan horse."
4. Finally, it’s a good idea to review your business technology insurance coverage as many insurance companies now have specific policies for these concerns.
Here at the boT, we can further advise you on how to handle these concerns appropriately and our best results are typically with customers who have 150 or more mobile devices…but don’t be shy…ask us how we can help (even if you have less than 150 devices).
Call us at 949-416-0199.