Is BYOD Right for your Organization?
Bring Your Own Device, or simply BYOD remains both a major opportunity and challenge for small businesses and enterprises alike. By following the right approach to identifying BYOD risk and developing an effective BYOD policy it is possible to capitalize on the benefits of BYOD without adding significant risk.
The popularity of devices such as tablets and smartphones, now used by many people in their daily lives, has led to a number of companies, such as IBM, Twitter, and Citrix to allow employees to bring their own devices to work, due to perceived productivity gains and cost savings. The idea was initially rejected because of security concerns but more and more companies are now looking to incorporate BYOD policies.
According to a 2018 study, only 17 percent of enterprises provide mobile phones to all employees, while 31 percent provide to none and instead rely entirely on BYOD. The remaining 52% have a hybrid approach where some employees receive corporate mobile phones and others are expected to bring their own.
Some industries are adopting BYOD more quickly than others. Another recent study of BYOD practices found that the education industry has the highest percentage of people using BYOD for work, at 95.25%.
There are also negatives to the BYOD model. BYOD has resulted in data breaches. For example, if an employee uses a smartphone to access the company network and then loses that phone, untrusted parties could retrieve any unsecured data on the phone. Another type of security breach occurs when an employee leaves the company and they do not have to give back the device, so company applications and other data may still be present on their device.
So whats my conclusion?
Management teams should plan carefully to create a BYOD policy that allows for flexibility, agility, but most importantly security. Company requirements should dictate how a BYOD policy is developed. If poorly planned, BYOD can be dangerous to organizations. Personal mobile devices can become a liability without proper precautions. If a mobile device has access to business computing systems, the company’s IT administrator should have control of it. A BYOD policy helps eliminate the risk of having malware on the network, allowing the management team to monitor all contents of the device and erase data if any suspicious event is captured. Ultimately a strong BYOD plan and policy will enable your workforce to be agile and flexible with how and where they work.