Risk vs. Reward: Should Your Employees Use Personal Devices for Work?

In today’s ever-connected world, working from anywhere is no longer a perk limited to tech start-ups—it’s become a vital step towards remaining competitive and innovative as an evolving business in many industries. According to Tech Pro, 74% of organizations either have existing Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies or plan to in the future. BYOD policies are common at many workplaces, since having the ability to work from anywhere is the new normal. Unfortunately, the IT risks associated with these policies are often an afterthought for companies who strive to remain on top of trends. 

To give you a better idea of what is at stake, we’ve weighed the risks and rewards of implementing BYOD policies.

The Rewards

Let’s start with the good news.

We get it, the upside of implementing a BYOD policy can seem overwhelmingly positive on the surface. After all, skipping out on the costs of procuring, maintaining and replacing hardware sounds great, right? Beyond that, BYOD policies eliminate the learning curve of new technology, meaning less training time. Employees will feel comfortable and empowered when they’re allowed to use their own technology for work purposes. According to Tenable’s BYOD and Mobile Security Report, a majority of businesses with BYOD policies have experienced these benefits:

  • Improved employee mobility (61%)
  • Greater employee satisfaction (56%)
  • Increased employee productivity (55%)

The Risks

Unfortunately, it’s not quite that simple. BYOD policies come with a sizeable amount of risk. Many BYOD policies are not well-thought out or properly secured. Some of the main considerations that businesses fail to protect against include:

  • Lost or stolen devices
  • Employees leaving the company abruptly
  • Lack of up-to-date security software
  • Access to unsecured Wi-Fi

These vulnerabilities can be devastating for businesses large and small. According to Trend Micro, unsecured BYOD policies are high-risk due to the following reasons:

  • 60% of organizations do not remove any business data from ex-employee devices.
  • 50% of organizations that allow BYOD were breached via employee-owned devices.
  • 40% of the total large data breaches were caused by lost or stolen devices.

Doing It Right

As flexible workplace policies continue to grow in popularity, be critical of the potential security risks that could outweigh the cultural benefits. If you’re set on implementing a BYOD policy, there are a few steps that you can take to ensure you’re doing it the right way.

  1. Enforce acceptable use policies
  2. Clarify company assets versus personal assets, such as software programs
  3. Enforce and clarify company rights to the device
  4. Install high-quality antivirus programs
  5. Use encrypted hard drives or cloud solutions for data backup
  6. Consider cyber liability insurance

If you’re looking to modernize your IT structure, implement a BYOD policy, or implement new technologies into you’re business, we’re here to help. Contact us today to set up a full technology assessment.   

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