The prospect of using one’s own devices in the workplace has been a driving force behind innovation for quite some time, especially where business matters and operations are concerned. As the business landscape continues to change drastically in the coming months, it would be wise to remain abreast of this trend–as well as understand what this shift means to your business’s security.
The concept of a Bring Your Own Device, or BYOD policy, in a workplace makes sense to implement in many ways. First of all, there’s the reduced overhead costs that come from not needing to supply an employee with a device.
For reference, let’s assume that a hypothetical business wants its workplace of 95 workers to have increased mobile capabilities. Naturally, they will need the devices to do so. Projections placed the average cost per smartphone to reach $567 this year, Mind you, this cost is strictly for the physical device, never mind the service plan and data charges each would incur every month.
For simplicity’s sake, we’ll disregard the service costs for the rest of this example. To fully supply the entire 95-person workforce of our hypothetical business with company smartphones, the company would have to make a financial investment of $56,715 to supply just enough the phones for everyone to have one, with the hopes that none are lost, stolen, or broken. However, if a BYOD policy was put in place, this cost could be greatly reduced to just assist the employee with covering data charges.
These cost savings aren’t even the most common motivation for introducing a BYOD policy. Collected statistics suggest that more business decision makers find increases in mobility, productivity, and satisfaction as the key reasons to implement BYOD policies among their workers. This only makes sense, as a properly configured device with the proper safety precautions could allow an employee’s productivity to be preserved from almost anywhere. Not to mention, an employee is much more likely to reach optimal productivity when using the device that they are comfortable with.
While one might expect management pushback to be one of the main forces against BYOD implementation, a different (and much more crucial) factor has prevented Bring Your Own Device policies from becoming the new norm: concerns about data security.
When it comes to mobile security, 20 percent of organizations have suffered a mobile breach, usually through mobile malware and threats lying in wait on malicious, often public, WiFI connections. These issues then take up a sizable amount of the time available to internal IT teams and help desk servicers (35 and 27 percent, respectively).
Despite this, a scant 30 percent of organizations have any significant changes planned within their security budgets to account for BYOD implementations in the next year, while more have no plans to adjust how they have budgeted their security, at 37 percent.
Regardless, BYOD isn’t likely to go anywhere anytime soon. Between a desire for employee engagement and the rising maintenance costs that are associated with company-owned and provided equipment, too many businesses have found BYOD to their benefit to abandon the approach now. Not to mention, if an employee prefers working on their own, probably less-secure device, they could very well continue to use their own device unless proper preventative measures are established.
To resolve these issues, there are some solutions and arrangements you can put into place to prevent rogue devices from accessing your business data and network. Establishing a permissions-based access system can work wonders in terms of preventing unauthorized BYOD usage.
If properly managed and overseen, BYOD can be of great benefit to any company or organization that relies on technology to access company data.