Make mobile security awareness a desirable state, rather than a tedious obstacle.

If you’re of a certain age, you remember watching classroom videos (and maybe even films) about the unpleasant consequences of inappropriate behavior, such as reckless driving. Some of those “educational” messages had graphic content. They were definitely meant to scare you.

Nobody ever got around to making something like that for personal mobile device security awareness, and maybe that’s too bad … because some awful stuff can happen to those who fail to heed the warnings.

Everyone expects to use their personal devices on their employer’s network, and this is especially true of Millennials. So, how do you impress upon employees the importance of practicing security in today’s Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) world?

It’s all they know

Lots of things get blamed on Millennials, but this is an observation—not an accusation. They are the first generation to have portable computing devices in their lives since they were born. They didn’t know a time when it was not possible for a computer to fold up and go with you, and many can’t fathom a phone permanently stuck to a wall.

Both Millennial workers and most later-in-life adopters are extremely comfortable with technology, but this doesn’t mean they use it securely. Again, an observation rather than an accusation: Everybody tends to use technology in a way that’s most convenient, not the most secure.

This can be bad news for IT professionals tasked with protecting company networks. Many of them have to accommodate users who shun security measures while expecting to use their own devices to access company material.

We know it can’t be a BYOD party with no security limitations. So, here’s how to effectively heighten everyone’s awareness about mobile and network security.

Set clear policies and underscore the benefits of trust

We tend to trust technology by default. Thanks to the meticulous focus on the interface and user experience of devices and software, we expect things to be easy and intuitive. Do you follow—at least generally—this same approach when you craft policies for BYOD security?

Create awareness programs that take advantage of the ease of security, when security is made as essential as operational convenience. Craft simple, clear policies – such as only accessing sensitive company information through secure portals and networks and always keeping devices updated – and make sure your employees thoroughly understand their importance.

Send updates about mobile (and other) risks

Make it a habit to review and update policies in light of new and emerging cyber security threats. If a specific threat becomes serious, send an update warning employees to avoid risky behaviors, such as clicking on that unknown Google document. Your attention to these issues communicates your commitment to mitigating risk, and helps create a culture of security.

Appeal to intellectual curiosity

Consider creating security awareness programs that pique curiosity, getting into the “WHY” of BYOD security. These policies should promote the value of good security behavior, and explain WHY it’s good –in fact, necessary – to protect the company.

Security awareness is, well, security awareness. The facts remain the same. It’s the delivery and commitment to communication that changes people’s receptiveness. It’s too late to cancel the BYOD party, and given the convenience benefits, nobody really wants to. Now it’s simply a matter of making sure everybody accesses the network responsibly, whatever their chosen device.

Network Computer Pros is a full-service Managed IT Service provider for South Florida businesses. We offer reliable, cost-effective computer support for which you pay a fixed price with no extra charges for onsite visits or hardware changes. To learn more about our services and to set up a free consultation, reach out to us today at 954-880-0388.