The days when every employee carried around the same company issued cell phone and laptop are quickly disappearing. Technology innovation is outpacing the speed at which many companies can afford to acquire it, but employees demand up-to-date devices. As a result, more companies are implementing BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policies that allow employees to work using the brand and device of their choosing. Providing employees with the opportunity to work with their technology of choice increases satisfaction and productivity, which is why 74% of organizations are in favor of BYOD.
Benefits of BYOD
1. Increased job satisfaction. Employees prefer to work with equipment that they believe is more efficient and easier to you. When you allow your Apple-loving employees to bring their own laptop in favour of the company’s PC’s, they’ll be happier and more productive.
2. Save money. Allowing your employees to BYOD will save you money if the alternative is to buy them all the devices of their choosing.
3. Up-to-date technology. It’s highly likely that the BYOD devices your employees are using are more updated than your company-issued technology. BYOD means that your company gets to reap the benefits of having technology with more modern features, capabilities, and upgrades.
4. Attract top talent. A BYOD policy can be an advantage and a recruitment tool when it comes to attracting new employees who want the flexibility to use their own devices.
While a BYOD policy offers a number of benefits to both you and your employees, it is not without certain security and privacy risks:
1. Lost or stolen devices. Employees using their own devices are much more likely to take them off company premises, and this makes them more likely to get lost, stolen, or misplaced. Make sure BYOD devices are secured properly with passcodes to protect company data.
2. Employees who leave. When employees work on their own devices, you have less control and may not be able to remove company information from them in the event that they suddenly leave. This creates a potential for employees to gain unauthorized access to systems after they’re gone.
3. Security software. Make sure that employees are notified regularly to upgrade their firewall and anti-virus software when utilizing their own devices. You don’t want to leave your company network exposed to security risks.
4. Unsecured Wi-Fi. Since employees will likely use their devices outside of the office, you risk them accessing unsecured Wi-Fi that could present security risks to your systems and network.
All of these risks emphasize the fact that a BYOD policy should not be implemented without careful consideration and consultation with your IT or IS team. As a part of your BYOD policy, make sure to develop a security plan that employees are expected to follow. Employees should be required to acknowledge and sign-off on the policy so that they understand the BYOD risks, and the importance of compliance. A BYOD policy can offer a lot of great benefits to your company and employees, but one should not be rolled out without appreciating the risks that come with it.