Our blog on BYOD in the workplace suggested that productivity increases if employers allow workers to bring their own device. Employees who wish to use their own devices usually expect that they can and an increasing number of establishments such as hospitals and education are allowing BYOD. In this blog we explore how the increase in cloud based applications has enabled BYOD.
Dropbox, OneDrive, Google and iCloud
Using cloud storage has many advantages over traditional computer data storage. We can ensure that data is always available at any time to a user, from any location that has Internet access. Cloud storage is convenient and offers more flexibility.
The type of storage that is best depends on who is using it. iCloud backs up mail, calendar, contacts and storage. Whereas Dropbox it is hailed for simple sharing between lots of different types of devices, Onedrive is said to be greatest for Windows PC. Google Drive (currently the most widely used) is a complete office suite with a ‘little bit of everything’.
The popularity of Google Drive stems from its capacity to keep data in one secure place using online file storage and the flexibility to continue working even when offline. Google Docs enables word processing for teams (using laptops, tablets or mobile phones) from any place or time that has internet access. Documents can be edited straight from a browser. Other features include Google spreadsheets and integrated online calendars designed for work teams, giving them the freedom to work from anywhere. This why it is widely used in the BYOD business world.
Safe and secure
Keeping all files and documents safe is obviously of paramount concern. There are many ways that we can all take responsibility for ensuring safety and security. Strong passwords with numbers and letters, capitals and symbols are advised. Try not to reuse the same password and never share them.
Further security is ensured by only using your own devices. Often browsers ask you if you would like to remember your password and so if the browser is still open when someone else comes along, your login information might still be there. Unless you are on your own device you must remember to log out.
BYOD often relies on a WiFi connection which should also be secure and legally compliant. To ensure that the WiFi network is secure, it must be encrypted too – a padlock doesn’t necessarily mean that it is safe. That is why it is recommended that people should use a trusted WiFi provider.
Case study: how Purple WiFi helped an enterprise cloud based software company to enable BYOD
Purple WiFi have recently adapted our software to allow customers to limit Google authentications to a single Google Apps domain. Meaning that only the employees of the company, with a valid Google login can access their WiFi. This makes for an easy implementation of a user-friendly BYOD policy, even at large companies occupying multiple sites or school/university campuses.
All authentication happens over SSL directly through Google, so it’s completely secure. Purple WiFi don’t require any special permissions or visibility of the company’s user accounts or passwords. Conveniently the MAC of each device is remembered for simple re-authentication on return visits, with the security that it can be cleared when the Google apps account is revoked.
Our reporting portal gives network managers insight into exactly who’s using the network on what devices and our customer API allows integration with third party apps such as HR tools or automated reporting/alerts.