Within the past several years, businesses have started to realize that they needed to jump on the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) train or reject it completely. For many businesses, allowing employees to use their own smartphones, tablets and laptops has meant that they can lower costs, be more flexible and productive. These are all great reasons to encourage BYOD, but when considering it there are a lot of different risks to the business they need to evaluate. Here are 5 considerations for any business when evaluating BYOD:
- Inability to Control Data:
It becomes incredibly tricky when dealing with personal devices and corporate data. When it comes to security and the protection of intellectual property, responsibilities need to be addressed early with employees.
There also needs to be a way for a business to retrieve data from employees devices. Having and setting guidelines and protocols on how data is stored and accessed makes it easier on retrieval but also decreases security concerns. For example, storing pictures from the employees family vacation in the same folder as last week’s presentation would not be advisable.
Addressing data ownership and management early on with employees is integral to stronger data control.
- Lost or Stolen Devices:
Losing a device, be it a smartphone or tablet can happen and does happen. There is also the potential to lose data that is on that device. Even though there are some great apps out there like “Find my Phone”, perhaps the best option in some of these cases is total lockdown of the devices themselves should they be lost or stolen. Including a cloud back-up plan is another great option to ensure data is stored remotely.
Security is without a doubt one of the biggest concerns when it comes to BYOD. Having procedures in place and usage policies will of course help. Managing multiple devices correctly can be challenging, but ensuring that the IT department is vigilant can help circumvent any potential security issues. IT Departments need to teach employees on how to encrypt and secure access to corporate data, install anti-virus, and how to do patches and updates.
Putting security in the hands of the employee is a big responsibility and it’s no surprise it can be seen as a huge headache and cumbersome. Having less control over data does scare many IT departments, but ensuring employees follow suit and understand the risks involved can be an everyday challenge that needs to continuously monitored.
As we mentioned, there are potential benefits for businesses when considering BYOD. If your business is
considering BYOD or have already implemented it, are you 100% of the successful roll-out? Contact us for any questions or concerns about BYOD and we will be happy to answer your questions!