BYOD: Protecting yourself when employees use their own devices for business
More and more businesses are moving away from the traditional means of communication with employees and embracing the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) model. One study found that 60% of companies supported a BYOD system and 90% of them planned to do so in the future. This new BYOD trend allows employees the benefit of using their personal mobile devices to conduct work, and provides employers the opportunity to communicate with them without paying for the cost of a device.
78% of employees found using one mobile device helped them balance their personal and professional lives. tweet
This new system can increase employee mobility by 63% and employee satisfaction by 56%. Other studies found that employee productivity is increased when they get to use their own hardware. U.S. workers save an average of 81 minutes per week using their own devices rather than IT-issued hardware. It can also have mental health benefits: 78% of employees found using one mobile device helped them balance their personal and professional lives.
Some of the downsides to BYOD
While this approach has some benefits, that doesn’t mean it’s not without risk. 39% of employers who have considered a BYOD model have cited security concerns as the main deterrent. Incidents of data leakage, unauthorized access, unauthorized downloading and malware are just a few of the security concerns that BYOD models can present.
When employees are using their own phones to store potentially sensitive information about schedules, business plans or clients, the risks become especially high. 77% of employees have received no instruction on how to manage the risks that can come from using their own device at work. Here’s another scary fact: 35% of workers have admitted to storing their passwords directly on their smartphones. If that device was lost or stolen and ended up in the wrong hands—it could be very harmful to your company.
Some of the other concerns with BYOD include:
- Abrupt departures: When employees leave the company suddenly and without warning, you may not have the opportunity to remove any sensitive information or data from their device.
- Lack of anti-virus software: Without company-provided devices, it can be difficult to ensure that employees are installing company-approved anti-virus software and updating it when necessary.
- Unsecured Wi-Fi connections: Some hackers have begun using the hotspot features on their phones to create fake Wi-Fi connections and gaining access to victims’ phones.
Understanding the risks of BYOD
Companies need to be aware of all of the risks associated with allowing employees to use their personal mobile devices for work purposes, and how they can protect themselves against them. To help you get more familiar with this approach to employee mobility, we’ve put together an eBook outlining some of the risks associated with a BYOD workplace, how it can impact your current mobile device program, and some best practices to help you protect your business.
- Bring your own device: the new approach to employee mobility—a look inside some of the key benefits of implementing a BYOD system at for your company.
- The low cost of convenience vs. the high cost of a damaged reputation—helping you better understand the cost-effective benefits of BYOD while remembering it’s the potential loss of sensitive data that can be the most damaging to your business’ reputation.
- Mobile device management (MDM): easy communication meets data protection—explaining what an MDM solution is, and why it’s important for a BYOD system.
- Do it yourself vs. using a service provider—helping you understand what is needed to create your own MDM solution, or what to look for in a service provider.
- Don’t forget about cyber insurance—helping you understand how and why you may need to update your insurance coverage to reflect the new risks presented with BYOD.
- One last thing… don’t forget about the employee part of the MDM equation—how to ensure employees don’t feel monitored or tracked by an MDM solution.