BYOD refers to the concept of allowing employees to use their own personal phones, tablets, and laptops for all their work tasks. By now, except in firms with exceptionally high-risk situations, this is a pretty common policy. It has many benefits, but it brings along risks. Have you considered the risks BYOD creates?
Here are some of the issues raised by BYOD:
- Devices get lost. If you issue company phones, you have the ability and authority to remotely wipe the unit clean if it is lost or stolen. With employees’ personal devices, do you still have that ability? If not, your data is at risk.
- Software and security updates. Is the employee responsible for updating all the software and virus protection programs on their own devices? If that responsibility transfers to them, you are at the mercy of their willingness to keep track of such tedious tasks. If you accept responsibility for it, do you have the in-house staff to handle all the extra work?
- Backups. When data is entered on many different devices, something must be done to ensure back up procedures are routinely followed.
In short, BYOD is probably an unavoidable approach to device management. It is unrealistic to expect people to carry around two different phones or tablets 24/7. That said, you need to address the security implications before something bad happens.