What’s worse than realizing that some of your company’s employees are among the roving bands of Pokémon hunters following the latest mobile craze?Realizing that those are company-owned phones in their hands.
It’s long past time you got a handle on how your employees use wireless to do their jobs — and how they use their corporate-liable devices when they’re not. What you need is a company wireless policy.
A wireless policy is a formal document detailing the rules corporate users must follow when using company wireless devices or accessing company data on their own devices.
In our experience, about 70 percent of companies have a wireless policy of one form or another. The other 30 percent are running the risk of cost overruns and security breaches by allowing unrestricted wireless usage.
If your company lacks a wireless policy or needs to strengthen its existing policy, here are three of the most important elements to include:
1. Acceptable Use
You can’t expect your users to refrain from all personal use of their company-owned devices. Most plans now provide unlimited texting and calling minutes. And there’s not much harm in checking personal email after hours.
But where do you draw the line?
For starters, most companies don’t want their users accessing adult content. Nor do they want them running up huge data bills on Netflix. We have seen single users rack up 30, 50, and even 100 gigabytes of monthly data, mostly through streaming video.
The acceptable use section of your company’s wireless policy is the place to define just what counts as “business use” of a device and how far employees can deviate from that.
2. Business Use of Personal Devices
Almost everyone has their own cellphone these days. Naturally, they want to be able to use them to check their work email and access work documents.
This (often called “BYOD” for “bring your own device”) can be a boon to productivity, as it helps employees get work done from remote locations and any time of day. But it can also be a security headache. Personal devices are much harder to lock down than the ones your company chose and paid for.
A wireless policy can help your company get some control back by outlining:
- Which devices are allowed to connect to corporate networks.
- What security features must be enabled on personally-owned devices.
- What users must do if their personal devices are lost or stolen.
3. A Way to Enforce Your Policy
A wireless policy isn’t much good if your users don’t follow it. How can you keep them honest?
A managed mobility services provider like Wireless Analytics can help you there. Here are two ways we help our clients enforce their wireless policies:
- Tracking end user data. We provide our users (and their managers) with summaries of the data they’ve used over each month. Oftentimes, seeing they’ve consumed 50 gigabytes of data is enough to shock them back into compliance — especially when they know their manager is watching.
- Creating top-ten lists. Top-ten lists of data users, texters, and international callers make frequent appearances in our monthly stewardship calls with our clients. This helps leadership quickly identify those users who are outside the norm, so they can correct minor issues before they balloon into bigger problems.
What’s in Your Wireless Policy?
What are the most important parts of your company’s wireless policy? Share your ideas in the comments section below.