BYOD: Are employee devices at the workplace a ticking time bomb?

December 12, 2013 No Comments

When you talk about BOYD (Bring Your Own Device), you’re talking about giving employees more freedom, thus making them happy and consequently raising their productivity. Since it also cuts down company costs, the policy comes off as immensely appealing to employers. However, allowing employees to bring their own device to the company may not be as good an idea as it is touted to be. There are a number of issues associated with it, which, which, if ignored, can deal a heavy blow to the company.

Leakage of sensitive and unsecured data

Safeguarding your business interests is naturally your foremost priority, which is why you need to think twice before giving your employees the freedom to bring their own device to work. Letting your employees access company server from their own device is a risk because in case the device gets stolen, the unsecured data may land in the hands of a third party, someone who’d be glad to share the acquired data with your competitors. Even if the device doesn’t get stolen, your employee may not be someone who could be trusted to the extent where they are allowed to take the sensitive data home. You need to ask yourself whether this sort of a risk is worth taking.

Increased susceptibility of network to malware

BOYD may not such a good idea because of the biggest and meanest threat on the Internet, malware. The employee may not have sufficient protection against various spying softwares on their cell phone, laptop or tablet against the. While accessing the Internet, their device might get infected by malware. Since they will be using that very device to connect to the company’s network, the malware may spread to other devices on the network and, in the worst case scenario, even corrupt sensitive data on the server.

Additional headache for the IT department

The job becomes harder than usual for the IT department when they have to deal with different devices. The more kind of devices there are accessing the server, the more support issues there are likely to be. Even if they are able to deal with whatever issues spring up, there is a good chance that it may put an extra strain on the company’s resources.

Leaving with more than just their device

If your employees regularly interact with the customers and offer them their services and support via their cell phones, then letting them use their own device and hence their own number can be problematic for you when they leave you to work elsewhere. They would not only be taking their own device to their new employer, but may also take your customers with them.

Bringing your own distraction to work

The proponents of BYOD stress upon the positive impact that letting the employees bring their own device to work has on their productivity. This, however, may not always be true. The employee may start ignoring their office work to enjoy the huge collection of entertainment stored on their cell phone, tablet or laptop in form of gaming apps, films, music, etc.

Rather than opposing the tide of employee devices in the workplace due to its potential risks, you ought to take measures to make it as safe as possible. Developing a policy to define what devices are allowed and who can access sensitive data may be a good idea and if you’ve got any worries, you can address them in the policy. This way, you will be able to enjoy the benefits of BOYD, while mitigating the risks.

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