The global market for Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is expected to reach an eye-watering $73.30 billion by 2021. BYOD in the workplace is a great way to increase employee happiness and satisfaction, save money by eliminating the need to buy each employee specific devices and equipment, and boost productivity. While there are many perceived benefits of BYOD, the significant legal liability for employers who fail to address the security risks are even bigger. Fortunately, there are several steps that an employer can take to prevent BYOD risks that are often associated with a BYOD workplace.
By having an in-depth knowledge of the risks associated with BYOD, companies can implement a BYOD policy and outline regulations that all employees must follow.
PROS OF BYOD POLICY
The millennial generation will comprise more than 75 percent of the American workforce by 2025. This is also the generation that is driving the adoption of BYOD. The beautiful thing about Millennials is that they’re a mobile workforce – they work anywhere and everywhere. Whether or not you have set up a BYOD policy at work, they will use their personal devices for and during work
A BYOD workplace makes workers happier and more satisfied. They are using the device they like, and they have invested their hard-earned money on it. Besides, not having to work all day on budget-oriented and dull, company-owned devices can be a huge relief.
This brings us to ‘budget.’ Employers can save money that they would have to invest in equipping their staff. Another added benefit is that employees are more likely to take extra care of their devices since they own them. This would greatly reduce the cost of owning and updating devices.
CONS OF BYOD POLICY
According to a 2012 survey by Vision Critical, 36 percent of Millennials have broken or would break a company policy inhibiting BYOD. Moreover, 55 percent of responded saying that using their mobile device at work is a “right” versus a “privilege.” This attitude makes a huge security risk for companies.
According to Tech Pro Research’s 2014 report, 78% of organizations cited their number one scruple for using BYOD was security. A BYOD workplace only increases the risks associated with privacy concerns for the employees and the employer.
If you have a Bring Your Own Device workplace, you may experience security risks associated with:
LOST, STOLEN OR MISPLACED DEVICES
If devices with company data are lost, stolen or misplaced, this could enable unwanted third-party individuals to gain access to confidential data.
PEOPLE LEAVING ABRUPTLY
If an employee leaves the company abruptly, you may or may not have enough time to wipe devices clean of company passwords and data. In addition, this will also allow the ex-employee to gain unauthorized access to the information after they’re gone.
LACK OF FIREWALL OR SECURITY SOFTWARE
Employees should be encouraged to update firewall and anti-virus software when using their own devices in the workplace. Lack of firewall or anti-virus software is the number one reason for data breaches in the workplace.
BYOD Policy at Work
In order to address the challenges, you must develop a comprehensive BYOD policy. To start, ask important questions to yourself, your IT associated and your executive team. There is no one-size-fits-all approach. What might work best for you, may not for an employer of a different business type. Nevertheless, there are the key features you must keep in mind while drafting your BYOD policy at work.
Integrate BYOD policy with the acceptable use policy
Discuss browsing of objectionable websites, transmission of inappropriate material over the network, etc.
Bring clarity on who owns the data
When you wipe the device, all content is erased including personal pictures, applications, etc. It’s impossible to restore these items. A BYOD policy should make it clear on who owns that data once it is brought under your network.
Set up an employee exit strategy
Disable email or synchronization access as a part of the employee exit interview. You may even choose to perform a wipe of the BYOD-enabled device as a part of the exit strategy.
In order to limit the risks associated with implementing a BYOD policy at work, it’s essential to ensure that each employee fully understands the policies before agreeing with them.