If you look at trending content from a few years ago, discussions around bring-your-own-device (BYOD) mainly focused on whether or not a business should allow their employees to bring their own devices into the office. With changes in the nature of work, and how people achieve business outcomes, the BYOD security conversation has shifted to coming up with strategies to successfully manage what happens when your staff bring their personal devices into the workplace.
This conversation is especially important as we enter the world of BYOx, or bring your own everything. And we literally mean everything – from wearables and other mobile-connected hardware to software, apps and even the personally-owned cloud solutions your employees utilise to get their jobs done. We all know that allowing teams to bring these digital innovations into the office can be highly beneficial in the modern business world’s constant quest for greater speed and efficiency. When people are using tools and technologies they’re familiar with, they are more productive, they are happier because they’re given greater flexibility and it saves the business money because they don’t have to spend on costly hardware investments.
There are however a number of risks associated with BYOD. And it can truly be nightmare for your IT team. One of the greatest conundrums around BYOD security is achieving a level of control without hampering employee freedom.
If you’re unsure about the risks associated with allowing employees to use their personal devices at work, take a look at the list below.
Managing security: Employees bringing their devices into the office and using them for work poses complex issues to the business. What would happen if an employee’s device containing sensitive data is lost or stolen? Should this happen, company trade secrets or sensitive customer/employee information could fall into the wrong hands and be used against the business in the future.
Performance and productivity: Some BYOD workplaces achieve increased productivity. While others witness a drop in productivity when personal devices are allowed. Typically, this decline in efficiency is caused by a lack of solid policy and a failure to acknowledge and understand the impact that allowing BYOD devices into the workplacewill have on network performance, connectivity speed and, ultimately, business output.
Data retrieval: What happens when employees leave the company? How do you prevent them from taking sensitive business data on their devices along with them? This can be particularly problematic should they move on to a competitor and still have access to sensitive corporate information.
Ignorance is bliss: All too often, employees make these mistakes because they simply don’t know any better. They don’t know what types of data should and should not be stored on their personal device. They also often don’t understand how the apps they install on their own devices can open them up to malicious viruses and often don’t realise the importance of keeping their operating systems up-to-date–. This makes BYOD-related training and policy formulation a must.
Mitigating these risks is all about ensuring that employees understand the consequences of their actions, running training programmes to address potential liabilities and implementing heightened security measures and solutions. If you want some help on your mobile and BYOD security journey, follow our blog posts and feel free to make contact with us
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