- October 23, 2019
- Posted by: Sharon Lam
- Categories: Business Continuity, Business Technology, Management Consulting, Operations, People, Planning
BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) has become normal for many offices, especially for small to medium businesses. Allowing your employees to work anywhere they want has completely revolutionised activity-based working office design.
Many businesses have jumped on this train, and allowed employees to bring their own devices as it allows your business to stay flexible in a multitude of environments. Allowing employees to ‘Bring Your Own Device’ has become a crucial way for businesses to remain competitive and innovative in the commercial work space.
Benefits in allowing your employees to ‘Bring Your Own Device’
Benefits of allowing employees to BYOD are numerous.
There is no technological learning curve as they don’t need to adapt to new tech and systems if they’re using their own computer. This decreasing the adaptation period necessary as they enter a new job.
Productivity skyrockets, as you can let your employees flourish by allowing them to easily shoot off a few emails during their coffee break or morning tea, taking time back from the company pocket and leave your employees with more time to do other work at their desks. Whether or not they work from home, the office, on site, during travel or in a remote location, your employee can access to their work.
Cut costs from your budget. It’s difficult for businesses, especially for small to medium businesses, to provide each employee portable electronics like smartphones, tablets and laptops. The investment that each employee takes would be ridiculous. By allowing employees to use their own devices, you create a solution that is not only convenient, but also makes financial sense.
However, BYOD brings its own problems. Security becomes a concern, as it becomes impossible to completely control the devices that access your network. So how would you protect your data and IT infrastructure?
Risks to your Data
Lost or stolen devices can be a concern, especially since many devices are designed to be light and easily portable. Phones, tablets and laptops can fit in small bags, briefcases, and are easily left behind or become targets of theft. Once the hardware has left your employee’s hands, not even the strictest encryption and security programs can keep a skilled hacker out of your data.
Employee resignations can be a concern if an employee leaves the company abruptly, such as immediate resignation. Without access to your employee’s devices, it becomes very difficult to wipe company information from their personal electronics leaving a future risk of unauthorised access to company data or proprietary software.
Unsecured wi-fi is convenient, and will be used by your workers when it’s available to get their work done. By allowing them to work anywhere, workers may find themselves in airports, coffee shops, commercial buildings, and other such places that give hackers easy access to essential company data through unsecured wi-fi networks.
Being lax with their security updates can be a major concern, as an employee’s personal electronics are maintained by themselves, and not everyone is IT savvy. Your workers might not stay up-to-date with the crucial security updates on all their devices, which can make it easy for hackers to access your company’s data. Your security is always as strong as your weakest link – and if you have many employees, this may become extremely hard to track.
Guidelines to Help Make ‘Bring Your Own Device’ Safe, Rewarding and Efficient
Having a clear ‘Bring Your Own Device’ policy can help eliminate the risks that ‘Bring Your Own Device’ can create. Set clear boundaries for your employees – tell them what personal data you have access to, and what would be company property.
Be absolutely clear upon what policies and processes you’re going to enforce with personal devices. What devices are appropriate? How will expense reimbursement work? Are you going to provide security options and programs for people who elect to bring their own device? Require people to use strong passwords and protective software, and let them know what you monitor on their personal tech.
By being transparent with policy, you eliminate many of the risks that may arise from employees using their own devices at work, as well as create confidence in both your security and their employees in their rights.
Should I Let My Employees Bring Their Own Device At Work?
In short, in 98% of instances, Collappor8 would recommend SMEs to allow workers to use their own devices as the value far outweighs most risks.
If you think that your data can be compromised more by staff using their own devices simply buy them new devices.