Bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies have become a popular option in recent years. It seems everyone has their own smartphone, so why not ask employees to use it for work?
While there seem to be clear advantages to BYOD policies, companies are, in fact, shifting away from those mandates.
What Are the Advantages to BYOD?
For companies that have implemented these policies, cost has been the main driver. Companies with BYOD policies do not need to purchase, maintain, repair or replace devices that employees use for work-related tasks. Some companies may pay a portion of an individual’s service plan, making BYOD policies an attractive employee benefit.
Why Are Companies Shifting Away from BYOD Policies?
Consider the sensitive and proprietary information that’s transmitted to devices your employees use. Companies are shifting away from BYOD policies due to the availability and vulnerability of data on those devices.
Here are some of the main reasons:
Lost or Stolen Devices. Smartphones are lost. Tablets left in a backpack are stolen. Mobile devices are easy to leave behind and are enticing targets for thieves. Even with encrypted data, these devices can reveal key information and secrets.
Poor Updating Practices. With BYOD policies in place, it’s much harder for companies to make sure that the latest security updates are downloaded and installed. If employees are not diligent about staying up to date with firewall updates, security patches and anti-virus software, hackers have a much easier time of infiltrating your company’s systems and files.
Reliance on Non-Internal IT Staff. Who is doing the maintenance and upgrading on mobile devices your employees are using? Having unknown personnel working on phones and other devices that contain sensitive and proprietary information means you have less control over who sees and has access to company information.
Unsecured Networks. One advantage of mobile devices is the ability to work from home, a client’s office or a corner coffee shop. Hackers know that too. Working on unsecured wireless networks gives hackers a clear path to your data stored on employee devices that may not be properly protected.
Sudden Departures. What happens when an employee leaves suddenly and does not return to work or is fired and asked to leave the business property? Not having access to a physical device makes it difficult to wipe company information from employee-owned electronics, giving them possible access to proprietary information and systems.
Productivity Loss. Your smartphone has lots of personal apps for messaging, social media and games. These devices can become a distraction for employees, resulting in lost work productivity. While policies and expectations can be established, it’s difficult to monitor employee activity.
What Can Companies Do to Change BYOD Policies?
Colorado Computer Support helps companies develop sound policies around mobile devices and data. CCS services provide companies with mobility solutions that keep employees and data protected while offering needed access to information. To learn more about CCS’ expert mobility solutions, contact us today.
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