A ‘Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)’ workplace is, as the name suggests, the growing popularity of employee owned devices within a company. One example of this is smartphones, but it could also include tablets, laptops and USB drives. As with anything, there are both benefits and drawbacks to having a BYOD workplace. It saves money for the company, because devices won’t have to be provided to each employee. It can also improve employee satisfaction and general morale, thus boosting productivity.
Unfortunately, there are also risks. Malware, viruses, unsecured devices and other issues can jeopardise corporate data, including sensitive client information and intellectual property. Fortunately, there are ways this risk can be significantly reduced, through the creation and management of BYOD policy guidelines.
Users must enrol in ‘Find My Device’ so that they have a better chance of finding their gadget if it is misplaced. Remote wipe services are also great, because they will allow the user to erase the data from their device if it goes missing, so that it can’t fall into the wrong hands. Frequent backups will prevent any significant loss if a device does have to be wiped. Regardless, corporate data should be encrypted anyway, so that compromised devices are still secure. Of course, another vital security measure is strong passwords across all smart devices.
It is also possible to prevent access to sensitive documents or applications when the user is offline. In other words, the user won’t be able to download or cache data on the device when they’re not connected to the corporate network.
So, with productivity in mind, BYOD policies have become widespread and with adequate management, it is possible for it to work successfully and safely.