How to safely BYOD in 2021!


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The Pros & Cons of a Bring Your Own Device Policy


As many IT departments struggle to keep up with yearly technology changes, company employees increasingly want to use their own devices to do their work and access data. This trend continues to grow as hybrid work schedules and working remotely become the norm.


It's part of a growing trend dubbed Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), which encompasses similar Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT), Bring Your Own Phone (BYOP) and Bring Your Own PC (BYOPC) initiatives.


All of them have evolved to empower workforces. BYOD encourages employees to work on the device they choose - accessing email, viewing text documents, and much more. The goal for these businesses is to increase productivity and reduce costs.


But BYOD also has a darker side. If not fully understood and regulated, it can threaten IT security and put a company's sensitive business systems at risk.


Below we will be covering the pros and cons of a BYOD or bring your own device policy for your company.


The Most Eye-Catching BYOD Stats for 2021

  • 67% of employees use personal devices at work. - CBS News

  • 69% of millennials believe regular office attendance is unnecessary. - Cloudbusiness

  • BYOD generates $350 of value each year per employee. - Cisco

  • A BYOD-carrying employee works an extra two hours. - ITProPortal

  • 87% of businesses are dependent on their employee’s ability to access mobile business apps from their smartphone. - Syntonic

  • 69% of IT decision-makers in the U.S. say BYOD is a good thing. - Cisco

Pros

Familiarity: One of the biggest pros of a BYOD program is that employees are able to use devices with which they are already familiar. The familiarity that employees have with their own devices allows them to collect data and tackle work-related tasks with increased ease and efficiency and in a more timely manner (because there is no time spent on getting comfortable with the device). Plus, mobile technology can boost workplace productivity.


Flexibility: By allowing employees to use their own devices, they are able to work anywhere at any time without needing to use other tools to access work documents. This removes the need to email copies of documents back and forth to be stored in your company system after being worked on.


A bring your own device policy also gives the employer greater flexibility to try out new solutions. If a team wants to run a pilot program to try a new mobile forms software, it’s far easier to do without having to go through layers of IT to get an app installed.


Financial Savings: BYOD means that employers save money since they don’t have to buy devices for each of their employees. An added benefit of this is that employees are more likely to take better care of the devices since they own them. This greatly reduces costs for repairs and updating, if there are any costs at all – a definite pro for BYOD.

Image by GustavoWandalen from Pixabay

Cons


Liability: When it comes to blurring the distinction between work devices and personal devices, the question of who is liable for repair costs arises. Who should pay for a new device if something goes wrong with it or if it gets stolen while on work time? What about when someone is using the device (or claims to be using the device) for work-related tasks outside of work hours and something goes wrong? These are questions that need to be carefully considered and for which a solution ought to be provided before implementing the BYOD program in your company.


Security and Control: Wikipedia explains that BYOD refers to the policy of permitting employees to bring their personal devices (laptops, tablets, and smartphones) to their workplace, and to use those devices to access privileged company information and applications. Even though security on devices with access to private work information is important, it is more difficult to manage the security on personal devices. Companies using a BYOD program have to contend with the fact that they will be relinquishing control over the appropriate use of employee devices. There’s only so much a company can do to ensure that the devices will be used appropriately.


Data Retrieval: After a contract has been terminated or when an employee leaves the company, it may be necessary to remove the company’s private information from the employee’s device, which could prove to be difficult. A plan should be in place to prevent the potential misuse of information.


You don’t need to leave your company at risk due to a lax BYOD policy. Adhering to the following recommendations can go a long way towards keeping employee devices from being weaponized to commit cyberattacks against your company.


  • Think through and test your BYOD policy before rolling it out company-wide

  • Take inventory of every employee device accessing your network

  • Conduct periodic audits of your BYOD policy


If you want help creating, implementing, and reviewing your BYOD policy, contact us today, and we can make sure that you are safe, secure, and smart!