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Device Control Policy: Features, Benefits & Challenges in 2024

Device Control Policy: Features, Benefits & Challenges in 2024Device Control Policy: Features, Benefits & Challenges in 2024

Organizations implement device control policies in accordance with their work settings, including devices, location, scale, security needs, and regulatory requirements they are incumbent upon. Device control policies cover a wide range of issues because different organizations have different needs. Regulations that legal institutions impose on organizations have a significant impact on policies related to deceiving control.

This article offers a comprehensive guide to the significance and subject of established device control policies, as well as the best ways to put them into practice. Here is a device control guide if you wish to learn more about it.

What is device control policy?

Device control policies help organizations establish guidelines regarding security, efficiency, and compliance. They constitute detailed sets of rules to be followed by device administrators and users. Important elements of device control policies are listed below.

Access rules

Access rules pertain to determining who is allowed to access specific regulations.  Authorization tools control access by blocking and allowing mechanisms. Access rules are based on user information such as role, level, and authentication.

Device connection rules

Devices are allowed to connect to a network in accordance with the specified connection method and user authentication.

Compliance rules

Organizations are required to comply with device control regulations such as the IEC 60950 and IEC 62368 standards or the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the EU. Device control policy guidelines, established by the organization, must be adhered to in order to meet regulatory requirements.

Monitoring and auditing rules

Device users are asked to comply with these rules by giving permission to be monitored. Monitoring activities on devices is used for detecting unpermitted actions. Some regulations may require audit reports, and organizations are entitled to conduct regulatory requirements.

Security rules

Device control policies require the implementation of security measures such as firewall configuration, the use of antivirus software, and encryption.

Device inventory and registration rules

Devices in the network must be registered in compliance with the device control policy; once registered, devices are added to the inventory of devices. Additional requirements can be described based on who owns the device (please see the BYOD rules section in the next paragraph).

Bring your own device (BYOD) rules 

Companies can allow their employees to work with their own devices. BYOD rules define minimum requirements for employee-owned devices, such as a minimum operating system. Every device, including BYOD devices, needs to abide by security precautions. Organizations may reimburse employees for costs such as device purchases and internet access. Such implementations are defined by BYOD rules.

Training rules

Regular completion of educational assignments is required of all device users housed under an organization.

Incident rules

Guidelines and prohibitive actions are requested to be followed in the event of incidents, such as data breaches or malicious attacks, as specified in the incident rules.

Why are device control policies important?

Device control policies help organizations ensure important factors such as security, efficiency, and compliance by administering rules.

1. Security

Security policies regarding devices are authoritative guidelines that administer preventive rules in organizations. These rules make up a manual for authorization and authentication, access control, encryption, malware prevention, and data protection applications. 

Device control policies include security policies that oversee security guidelines pertaining to devices. Security risks are minimized following the enforcement of security policies, and organizations are able to apply rules effectively.

2. Compliance

Compliance with regulations is an important aspect of device control policies that ensure regulatory requirements are met. Compliance policies shape the applications adopted to answer regulatory demands. Enforcement of compliance policies regarding devices helps organizations cancel out resulting legal costs and defamatory effects.

3. Efficiency

The assurance of device control policies helps organizations manage devices easily by framing device control rules. Remote working settings demand management tools for conducting security, monitoring, patching, configurations, and authorizing. Costs are minimized by following device control policies.

Device inventory rules help organizations plan costs resulting from device hardware and software. By implementing a bilateral agreement on device control policies, employee productivity is protected.

Top 3 device control policies 

Device control policies are efficient measures to manage the security of devices such as hardware, computers, smart phones, tablets, and USBs in a secure and compliant manner. There are many different types of device control policies, depending on their primary focus. The top three device control policies are described below.

1. Acceptable Use Policy (AUP)

AUP’s consist of a set of rules that describe the liabilities of device users. Organizations usually ask their employees to sign an AUP before starting work. This policy frames specifically what and how users are allowed to use devices, software, and tools inside the network. AUP covers important factors regarding authentication, data security, network communications, software, monitoring, reporting, updates, and acknowledgment of these.

2. Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy

BYOD policies are set by organizations to prevent mishaps caused by security concerns. As mobile devices become widespread, affordable, and support remote working by ditching on-premise devices, employees and employers decide to adapt to BYOD. As a result, there has been an increase in BYOD implementations around the world. Organizations seek clear definitions and rules to implement BYOD to safeguard against security breaches. 

The problem lies in ambiguous arrangements for device management. Organizations seek clearly and exactly defined rules to make sure employee-owned devices are coherent with their security policies and overcome this problem. BYOD policies include additional rules to set out reimbursements regarding internet costs. National institutions, such as the National Cyber Security Center provide organizational guidance to arrange BYOD policies.1 

3. Remote access and VPN policy

Remote working enables organizations to provide efficient solutions by enabling online access to networks and software. Though it has advantages, remote working necessitates the use of security implementations defined in the remote access policy. The use of authentication applications with VPNs is described in the policy. Hybrid and remote working obligate organizations to apply resistant infrastructures.

Organizations prefer including the zero trust approach in their policies. Gartner demystifies the zero trust approach by summarizing the term as follows: “never trust; always verify”.2

According to Statista: “the global Zero Trust market is expected to be worth nearly 60 billion U.S. dollars in 2027”.3

Zero Trust Network Access focuses on device management and ensures the security of remote work by protecting endpoints. ZTNA’s advantages include explicit authorization and instantaneous access decisions.  Optionally, ZTNA is preferred over VPN. 

What are challenges for device control policies?

Device control policies can be challenging for organizations to set up and implement because they have to deal with remotely managing and securing a variety of devices. The following are the main difficulties this process presents.

Policy consistency

Consistency regarding content, enforcement, updates, devices, software, approach, and regular practice necessitate systematic control mechanisms. The avoidance of these elements may lead to security vulnerabilities that are hard to revert once realized. The policy arrangement should be prepared carefully and logically. Organizations might benefit from convenient templates provided by professionals.

Policy enforcement

Policy enforcement needs consistent management. The implementation of rules described in the policies must be complied with and followed incessantly. In case any incidents occur, the response mechanism should step in. Without systematic and remote control mechanisms, the constant application of policies may fail. Organizations need unified and effective tools for assuring policy enforcement.

User compliance

Though full security approaches such as Zero Trust are intact, organizations may suffer from non-compliance with the policies they enforce, such as financial costs and waste of time. Employees are advised to bring awareness to their employees. 

Privacy concerns

Employees might hold back on the device control policies because of privacy concerns. The right description and definition of device control policies prevent misunderstandings and confusion. A balanced set of rules on device control such that they are not intrusive helps organizations encourage cooperation with their employees.

Regulatory constraints

Regulatory constraints administered by supranational and national organizations require full compliance. In the absence of acknowledgment of these regulations, organizations are bound to suffer financially. Regularly following institutions briefs and information pages will help organizations. 

What are best three practices for framing device control policies?

Device control policies should be arranged in accordance with a clear and precise approach. It is necessary to fully comprehend device control policies in order to comply with them.

1. Define clear policy objectives

Defining intelligible and clear policy rules will prevent misunderstandings caused by ambiguity. Policy incumbents must understand what has been asked of them. Policy objectives must be comprehensive. In addition to general outlines, specific incidents and combinations of incidents must also be included. The comprehensivity and consistency of the policy objectives hinder conflicts.

2. Define precise rules for access and control

Access and control rules are essential elements of device security. Employers and employees must come to an agreement on security requirements. Installing software tools on network devices, monitoring, configuring, authentication, and authorization requirements must be defined precisely in access and control policies.

3. Educate organization members about regulations

Educating employees on policies and updates is important to ensure compliance. Regulatory requirements set the framework for device control policies, and a stronger understanding of these requirements results in an efficient policy. 

Further reading

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Cem Dilmegani
Principal Analyst
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Cem Dilmegani
Principal Analyst

Cem has been the principal analyst at AIMultiple since 2017. AIMultiple informs hundreds of thousands of businesses (as per similarWeb) including 60% of Fortune 500 every month.

Cem's work has been cited by leading global publications including Business Insider, Forbes, Washington Post, global firms like Deloitte, HPE, NGOs like World Economic Forum and supranational organizations like European Commission. You can see more reputable companies and media that referenced AIMultiple.

Throughout his career, Cem served as a tech consultant, tech buyer and tech entrepreneur. He advised businesses on their enterprise software, automation, cloud, AI / ML and other technology related decisions at McKinsey & Company and Altman Solon for more than a decade. He also published a McKinsey report on digitalization.

He led technology strategy and procurement of a telco while reporting to the CEO. He has also led commercial growth of deep tech company Hypatos that reached a 7 digit annual recurring revenue and a 9 digit valuation from 0 within 2 years. Cem's work in Hypatos was covered by leading technology publications like TechCrunch and Business Insider.

Cem regularly speaks at international technology conferences. He graduated from Bogazici University as a computer engineer and holds an MBA from Columbia Business School.

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