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Developing a BYOD Policy for Your Hedge Fund

By Dina Ferriero,
Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend is certainly nothing new (we’ve been talking about it here on Hedge IT for months). So, now that this movement has hit the financial services sector, and is clearly here to stay, the next critical step is to develop a thorough BYOD policy to help manage this transition at your firm.
 smartphones tablets mobile devices
Some items to keep in mind when developing your firm’s policy include:

  • Company-owned mobile devices should be issued to – and personal devices approved for – only those employees who require immediate and frequent contact with co-workers, clients or partners regardless of whether they are physically located at their desks.

  • Devices should only be approved in situations where the productivity gains outweigh the costs incurred by the o.rganization to support and manage the device.

As you set out to establish your firm’s BYOD and mobile device management strategies, be sure to consider each of the following areas in order to ensure your policies are comprehensive and the firm is protected from potential security incidents.

Data Policy

Consider what types of data employees should be allowed to store locally on their mobile devices. For instance, you may want to ban users from keeping confidential or sensitive information on their devices unless it’s protected by robust encryption tools. Additionally, make it clear in this section that the firm has the right to remotely or physically wipe all data from the mobile devices at any time.
Another important aspect of the data policy is social media usage. About 40% of social media users access these platforms via mobile devices. How do you want to govern this? Be sure to consider pertinent industry regulations regarding archiving and retention of online communications to ensure compliance.

Mobile Device Management (MDM) Policy

MDM is a critical aspect of the BYOD policy. Be sure to directly state which rights the firm will retain with regard to provisioning mobile devices. Provisioning may include carrier activation, as well as installation of encryption technologies, various software tools, security certificates, anti-virus and more. Other items to consider within this section are:

  • Password and screensaver policies

  • Blocking or removal of specific applications

  • Encryption policies

  • Process and timing of security scans

  • Procedures for taking inventory of mobile device data and applications

Mobile Device Support Policy

How will the firm go about supporting employees’ personal mobile devices for business use? Some companies prefer to have users submit expense reports each month, detailing usage and the costs associated with work-related activities. Others offer a stipend to users in a predetermined amount, depending upon the individual’s role and responsibility level within the firm. Determine which method works best for your organization, and be sure to state that explicitly in this section.

Policies Regarding Company-issued Devices

For those employees who will continue to use company-issued mobile devices, consider items such as texting (Is it allowed? If so who will pay for this?) and international travel (When are roaming charges permitted? Can users make international calls on their devices?). Make sure these policies are clearly outlined for all users.

Loss & Theft

Who is responsible for charges associated with repair to a damaged mobile device or replacement of a lost device? Make it clear in this section that any lost or damaged devices need to be immediately reported to the appropriate firm personnel so that sensitive data does not fall into the wrong hands.

Employee Termination Policy

This section addresses the process for returning company-owned devices or deactivating access to business applications from a personal device in the event of an employee’s termination. In most cases, the employee will be required to turn in any devices that are company-issued, and allow the firm to wipe all necessary data from those that are owned by the individual.
At Eze Castle Integration, we regularly work with our clients to discuss mobile device management and BYOD best practices, and help design policies to meet each firm’s unique needs. Contact us to learn more.

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Photo credit: globalnerdy.com

Categorized under: Communications  Security  Hedge Fund Operations 

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