Bring Your Own Device(BYOD) policies are gaining popularity with the flexibility and usability they bring to employees whether at the workplace or outside the company premises. Even though businesses understand BYOD to be a value-based proposition, various BYOD myths get in the way of companies creating a BYOD policy.
According to a recent survey,data leakage in Bring Your Own Device practices was the biggest concern in 2020, with 63% of people questioned agreeing to it. 57% of people say users downloading unsafe apps and content is the second biggest concern in BYOD. Despite the concerns, the trend is gaining popularity as companies take proactive steps to use BYOD to their benefit. A 2022 research on BYOD trends in the workplace shows that 83% of businesses are dependent on BYOD policy of some kind. 75% of employees use their personal phones at work. Looking at the increasing BYOD adaptability, it is predicted that the BYOD market is expected to be worth USD 587.3 billion by 2030.
However, the spike in BYOD trends also brings your attention to corporate data security. In the absence of a BYOD policy, employees can have uninterrupted access to company data putting it at a huge risk. Thus, as employees fear that their personal data will be compromised if a BYOD policy is applied to their personal devices, companies also fear employees copying and sharing sensitive business data outside the work profile. These fears-turned-myths revolve around any company’s decision to adopt a BYOD policy.
Additionally, whether the benefits outweigh the risks included with implementing a BYOD policy is also a matter of question for businesses. Companies are worried that their employees won’t find it comfortable to have policies on their personal devices, and this may affect their productivity. Whether there is more rejection than acceptance, it is important to budge off the myths to take a calculated and profitable decision.
Myths and Facts about BYOD
Myth 1: Employees do not use personal devices for corporate work
Fact: Employees use personal devices for work irrespective of having access to corporate devices or not
Employees find it extremely easy and convenient when they have work data on their personal devices. It gives them access to the required information even when working from remote locations or when they are mobile. A Harvard Business Review on BYOD shows how the use of mobile devices like personal smartphones, laptops, and tablets as BYOD has grown in high-performing companies; as per BYOD stats, only 35% of companies had set policies in place. So, even when not given corporate devices, employees use their own devices for work since they are convenient and appropriate. Instead, companies can take the following steps to play to their advantage:
Educate people on how to ensure security on devices by downloading malware protection, setting up encryption for data storage, and connecting to corporate networks.
Sign agreements defining the company rules for BYOD devices in the workplace.
Ask employees to store information on the cloud so that IT admins can have complete access and control.
Myth 2: Deploying corporate apps on employee devices will enable organizations to access personal app data
Fact: A BYOD policy creates separate containers for corporate and private apps
As per a report, 80 percent of employees prefer using separate devices for corporate work, rather than using a personal device for business.
When a company allows BYOD policy, it empowers employees while maintaining IT security and enforcing compliance requirements. Such a policy follows a process of containerization that separates the work profile and personal profile on devices and encrypts data, so that sensitive information cannot be shared between both profiles for data security. Security policies are enforced on work apps and data present on the device. IT admins have remote access to work apps to wipe off data when an employee leaves the organization.
A successful BYOD model has the most well-planned security strategy. IT admins follow BYOD best practices to exercise the right controls and management. They create containers to have the required access without affecting employee privacy and flexibility.
Myth 3: Organizations can access personal browsing history on devices with a BYOD profile
Fact: With a BYOD policy, organizations have no access to personal data
In a BYOD policy, private data is separated from sensitive business data and applications. It protects both corporate data and user privacy like a win-win for both the company and the user. The IT has access to only work apps, browsers, media, and location data. The private apps, browser data, history, photos, media, and chats remain unaffected. A study on BYOD also shows that only 19.3% of employees prefer the same device for work and personal use.
Myth 4: Organizations have no control over corporate data when devices are lost/stolen
Fact: Organizations can keep corporate data and information on devices safe even when they are lost/stolen
A BYOD policy that allows employees to seamlessly onboard and use their own devices creates containers to manage continuous access to work information. Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) adoption in an organization allows IT admins to remotely lock devices or wipe off data from devices when a device retires or is lost or stolen.
Myth 5: Allowing employees to use their personal devices will reduce their focus
Fact: BYOD increases productivity as employees use devices they are comfortable with
A BYOD policy offers employees the ease and flexibility to be productive when using their devices. Employees can choose high-performance devices and use them any time anywhere. BYOD makes work more efficient and fun for employees and boosts employees’ satisfaction at work. BYOD also allows employees to work from home, outside work hours providing the flexibility to keep work on priority. Thus, BYOD environments help in achieving lesser turnaround time, employee satisfaction, and higher revenue for organizations. It ensures employees are more productive while they bring their own devices to work.
Myth 6: Organizations can track the location of employees with BYOD
Fact: Location can only be tracked when corporate apps are accessed and not otherwise
As previously said, BYOD creates two separate profiles for personal apps and work apps. Organizations can collect location samples only when employees access corporate apps on their devices. Thus, location tracking is active only when employees access the work profile of devices.
Myth 7: BYOD does not generate any ROI
Fact: BYOD boosts employee productivity and saves hardware costs helping organizations generate ROI
Implementing BYOD allows employees to bring and onboard their personal devices and set up work profiles to access work apps and data. This saves organizations their hardware cost by providing separate corporate devices to employees. Also, device maintenance cost lies with the employee, reducing the IT workload and overheads. The flexibility of personal devices further boosts employees’ comfort at work, specifically GenX and millennials, who are more likely to perform better when using devices they love. Thus, BYOD is here to be a long-term investment for organizations rather than a cost center.
Myth 8: If an antivirus is installed, there is no need to implement a BYOD policy
Fact: A BYOD policy protects devices from various security threats in addition to viruses
Organizations have a common perception that an antivirus installed on devices also protects corporate data and secures it against any leaks or thefts. However, in reality, the antivirus can only protect devices against known viruses. A BYOD strategy safeguards corporate data and devices by enabling application restrictions, enforcing passwords, collecting location samples, and allowing IT admins to wipe off data from devices in case they are lost or stolen. It not only protects employee devices against any malware but also ensures corporate data security.
Myth 9: BYOD increases IT workload
Fact: IT admins gain control over devices and executive remote functions
It is commonly understood that the implementation of BYOD burdens IT admins to manage regular app updates, content management, device tracking, and troubleshooting from time to time. An MDM solution when used for BYOD implementation, reduces IT burden as it offers remote access to devices. It has features like remote application management, conditional email access, and remote troubleshooting. IT admins can control all devices from a single console, saving hours of manual work when handled individually.
Myth 10: BYOD policy is a threat to security
Fact: The right BYOD solution helps organizations mitigate security threats by enforcing different passcode policies, restricting unauthorized access, etc.
Sometimes organizations fear giving uncontrolled access to company files on personal devices of employees as this may risk data leaks and misuse. It admins fear that corporate data would be compromised. The best solution is using the right MDM to implement a BYOD policy to prevent security threats. An MDM can restrict users from taking screenshots and camera access, and enforce passcode policies to prevent unauthorized access of work apps.
Myth 11: BYOD is not a reliable solution
Fact: BYOD is as reliable as any other form of device management
Organizations also have a conception that company data security can be compromised when employees use personal devices. Organizations also believe that corporate data is the most secure when only corporate-owned devices are involved. Another myth is that preloaded software in corporate devices gives IT admins superior control over devices. An employee device enrolled in a BYOD policy is as reliable as a corporate device as IT admins can have complete control over the work profile. The personal profile remains unaffected.
Myth 12: Employees understand security threats and hazards on their devices
Fact: BYOD is necessary to ensure compliance and generate awareness among employees
Organizations usually assume that employees understand the importance of keeping devices updated to maintain their security. On the contrary, employees can be quite passive in maintaining security compliances on their own devices, risking them to malware or virus attacks. In this case, a BYOD policy helps organizations secure devices and keep them safe from threats. Employees must also be educated on the need for security compliance from time to time.
Myth 13: BYOD implementation is possible only on the same type of devices
Fact: BYOD can be implemented on every device irrespective of its make and mode
BYOD is all about letting employees use the devices they prefer. These personal devices can be diverse with different make and operating systems. BYOD allows seamless management of all the devices through a consolidated dashboard irrespective of their make and model.
Myth 14: IT admins must manage patches and updates on devices manually
Fact: MDM automates patches
It is often misunderstood that when organizations allow employees to get their personal devices to work and use them for work, the workload on IT admins would increase. Additionally, it is tedious for IT admins to handle all device updates manually and troubleshoot devices in case of device downtime. An MDM helps automate OS patch management remotely. It helps cut down infrastructure costs and reduces IT efforts.
Myth 15: BYOD is not for every organization and won’t stay for long
Fact: BYOD serves every organization that wants flexibility along with data security
Many employees use personal devices at work whether their employers allow it or not, which shows that sooner or later, every organization will need to implement a BYOD policy. MDM with BYOD helps organizations save hardware and maintenance costs, provides employees the flexibility to work outside office premises, automates updates, and improves data and device security. IT admins can track and secure corporate data on all personal devices remotely.
The myths and facts discussed above have clearly shown that BYOD is a winner in today’s digital age. According to BYOD user trends stats, 30% of IT organizations will explore BYOD by the end of 2023. What one needs to take care of is to choose the right MDM solution to execute a BYOD policy. Scalefusion MDM provides IT admins with the features and flexibility to control and manage BYOD policies.
Chinmoyee is a Content Writer at Scalefusion. She is an engineer who loves writing, a tech enthusiast with prior experience in SaaS and enjoys developing great content ideas, content strategizing and content marketing.
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