What's Happening with BYOD?
Whether you have a policy or not, employees are going to bring their personal devices at work. If not, they will access your network and data through their smart phones or tablets. As an enterprise, this is something you should seriously consider.
BYOD stands for "bring your own device". Although it sounds broad, it refers to the workplace setting. In 2012, over 35% CIOs were planning to go BYOD while over 80% of surveyed companies allowed their employees to partly or completely use their personal devices at work.
There are plenty of reasons for the growth and popularity of BYOD: productivity, efficiency, and sometimes cost savings. With this setup, employees can now perform their jobs while in the field, traveling, or in their home or the holidays. An employee can enjoy at least 57 minutes of time savings through the program. With the help of apps and accessibility of the Internet, BYOD improves and speeds up collaboration, analyses, and data dissemination, gathering, and use.
Security Troubles Brew
The program, nevertheless, comes with its own sets of flaws so massive enterprises should never dumb them down. One of the biggest issues with BYOD is security. Cell phone theft is already considered an epidemic in a lot of cities in the United States and all over the world. That means a simple mistake as an employee leaving the phone in a coffee table already puts your company data at such a very high level of risks.
Malware has also found its way to mobile devices. SophosLabs nowadays detects at least 2,000 types of malware DAILY. Many of them come in the form of apps, which, when downloaded, starts snooping around the phone and stealing data.
Also, most of the company breaches are actually inside jobs—the employees themselves decide to steal information for their own malicious personal gain.
What You Must Do
Because of the security issues brought about by BYOD, some firms have decided to ban it outright, but the truth is, it’s a lot easier said than done. In fact, it’s one of the most far-fetched things a company can do right now. Digital natives and immigrants are bolder.
What companies can do then is to be ready for BYOD by creating a reliable, measurable, relevant policy. What does it cover?
How personal devices are going to be used in the workplace
Employee accountability and responsibility
- Range of access to data
- Company definition of BYOD
- Who pays for the device and its use
- Who owns the device in the workplace
- Security issues that have to be avoided
The policy should be complemented by adequate trainings led by the IT staff or department, as well as general education, such as safety in using mobile devices particularly in public areas and mobile threat awareness.
BYOD can be extremely polarizing: it can make or break a business. Yet it’s inevitable. The most important thing therefore is to integrate it into your processes as effectively but as quickly as you can.