The danger of the BYOD blind spot
By Catherine McFarland • 27 Mar 2014
The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) phenomenon is here and growing, whether businesses are prepared for it or not. But there’s a blind spot around BYOD.
Yes, it brings great flexibility and productivity. But do business and IT managers know enough about the governance, compliance and security issues that could seriously affect their organisations?
“BYOD could cause you to violate rules, regulations, trust, intellectual property and other critical business obligations.”
What is BYOD?
Let’s just make sure we understand exactly what BYOD is. Bring your own device (BYOD) is the term given to the growing trend of employees using their personal electronics to access work-related data and systems.
The phrase is an amalgamation of Bring your own technology (BYOT), bring your own phone (BYOP) and bring your own PC (BYOPC). All of these initiatives have evolved to empower employees to behave more like consumers than traditional workers. Nowadays, we tend to make consumer-like choices around workplace technology to increase our overall efficiency at work and in our personal lives.
“78% of employees believe that having a single mobile device helps balance employees’ work and personal lives”
Why is BYOD important?
While BYOD is obviously convenient for employees, it can also increase employee performance, save money and reduce business time spent managing a telecoms provider and plan.
“Nearly three-quarters of organisations deploying… BYOD, report improvements in employee productivity, customer response times and work processes.”
BYOD – a true story with a sad beginning…
But picture this. You’ve just been asked to fasten your seatbelts and switch off mobile devices on your return flight from a conference in Copenhagen, when you realise your iPad is nowhere to be seen. You’ve left it in the taxi. And the password protection on it doesn’t even get close to encryption. So your customer and business data and systems are now potentially at risk of breach and misuse – all of which have legal and reputational implications.
… and a happy ending
This actually happened to one of our customers a few weeks ago. His story could easily have ended badly for him, his firm and his clients. Luckily, though, he uses smart technology specifically designed for mobile access and collaboration and (here’s the really important part) with uncompromising (government-level) security and data backup capabilities. So whether he loses his tablet or accidentally clicks on malware in a dodgy email, he’s confident his business will stay in business.
Facing up to the blind spot
So BYOD doesn’t have to be risky. It’s just a question of opening your eyes to the blind spot and accepting the challenges for what they are – and then doing something about managing them. But more of that in next week’s blog.
In the meantime, check out our technology blog on BYOD and the Data Protection Act.
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