5 tips for guest BYOD use

June 22, 2018 Mike Buckley

These days, we don’t just use information technology, our lives are all about being connected. Everybody uses a myriad of devices to access networks wherever they go. When you're running a business, that means you need smart, simple answers.

If your business welcomes guests' devices onto its network, here are five tips to make sure everything works smoothly and risks are managed.  

1. Policy - Create a BYOD policy for all users, including guests

When creating a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy, consider the following:

  • Who can connect to your network?
  • What devices can connect to your network?
  • What access levels and restrictions are needed to manage services and data?
  • Will access be based on job title, user, or device type?
  • What compliance regulations must be met, such as Sarbanes-Oxley, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and Payment Card Industry (PCI)?
  • Remember, think security first. The integrity of your network depends on who has access to it.  

2. Acceptable use – Create an acceptable use policy for BYOD management

Work with your legal department to create an acceptable use policy that employees and guests can read before connecting to your wireless network.

  • Consider adding the policy to your company’s employee handbook.
  • Define employee and guest usage of personal devices on the network.
  • Document acceptable BYOD procedures when connected to the company network, and when accessing company data.

3. Guest management - Identify who, where, and what for guest users

Define the term “guest” in your BYOD policy.

  • Do guests include visitors, contractors, auditors, board members, partners, customers, and others?
  • Does guest access also apply to employees’ personal devices that are not company owned, or will these devices be on-boarded using BYOD?
  • What is the total number of guests that your network can support?
  • How will guests connect to the network?
  • What services and applications will guests be authorised to access?

4. On-boarding - Manage identities and control devices

Proactively oversee employee and guest connections to your wireless network.

  • On-boarding: Policies and limits need to be applied to devices and users to manage access to network resources and applications based on job titles, roles, or devices.
  • Off-boarding: Policies should be in place to uninstall applications and restrict or block network access for selected devices on demand.
  • By far the simplest way to manage identities remotely is with software dashboards, like those that come with Cisco Meraki wireless access points

5. Mobile device management - Integrate management or add a management module

Look for a wireless network that includes management so you can easily:

  • Deploy applications, secure devices, and manage device access.
  • Generate reports on-demand or automatically.
  • Lock accounts, devices, or users when needed.
  • Wipe business data, information, and applications from devices that are lost, stolen, or owned by employees that have left the company.
  • Many prefer the simplicity of cloud-based solutions like Cisco Meraki

If you want to learn more about configuring an SMB network, read the SMB Networking Essentials ebook.

About the Author

Mike Buckley

Mike’s career started in the 2005 fledgling London FinTech sector before fifteen years of B2B marketing communications in which Mike helped tell value stories for Zurich Insurance, Panasonic and Intuit among many more businesses. Upon joining Cisco in 2016, Mike worked on content production for UKI verticals Financial Services, Manufacturing and Retail before moving to the EMEAR region as SMB Audience Expert.

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