There’s no question that enterprises should have a wireless policy in place. As a recent article, “Why you need a wireless policy,” points out, security risks and increasing corporate user demand for wireless devices require today’s enterprises to establish a formal policy on device distribution, use, and specific vendor requirements.

And, although research firm In-Stat/MDR expects the number of business wireless data users to grow from 6.6 million at the end of 2001 to more than 39 million in 2006, just 15 percent of CIOs report that they’ve put a wireless policy in place, and only another 8 percent are working on one, according to a recent TechRepublic poll.

Wireless policies are rare in today’s enterprises.

The value of a wireless policy
Whether it’s to head off pirate projects or to provide guidance for a new deployment or enhancements to an existing system, a wireless policy is a necessity and should dictate everything from the devices and platforms supported to security measures, access privileges, and what constitutes appropriate use.

To assist tech leaders, TechRepublic has created a wireless policy template that can be customized to fit any enterprise’s needs. This template will help you create a policy document that can protect your company against potential security breaches and equipment losses, and help you clearly define appropriate use of company hardware both inside and outside of the office.

According to policy experts, a wireless policy should explain that although the devices may be taken physically out of the office, the devices and the passwords are both to remain company property at all times. In addition to having a formal policy, companies also need to keep comprehensive lists of all employee passwords so that in the event the employee resigns or is terminated, he or she will not be able to keep using the device or lock the company out of any systems.

Today’s wireless policy should also state that the company has the right to monitor all electronic correspondence—including e-mail and Internet activity.

Even if your enterprise has already widely deployed wireless devices, it’s never too late to implement a policy, so grab the TechRepublic wireless policy template and get started.