BYOD programs have earned noteworthy popularity in the past few years. Top motivations to adopt BYOD are: employee satisfaction, increased employee mobility, increased productivity, and reduced IT cost. BYOD programs give significant power to the employees – they can now control and decide from where to work, which devices to use and can even choose a convenient time to work.
But, “with great power comes great responsibility.” Despite the advantages, there are plenty of risks that pose a burden on an organization’s assets.
Bring your Own Device brings its own risks too and these BYOD risks affect both employers and the employees, equally.
Data is one of the most valuable assets of an organization as well as its employees. For an organization, data comprises of business information, sensitive enterprise information, proprietary intellectual property, business content, employee facts etc. Workers consider their personally identifiable information, social profiles, usage pattern, personal and financial information, photos, address books, mobile activities, location, browsing history etc. as confidential information.
Any unauthorized access to enterprise or personal data is a data breach, which comes attached to your BYOD plan.
There is no dearth of devices with different operating systems, configurations, and features. A modern-day employee typically stays in-tune with the latest technology and has different devices or frequently changes devices, which magnifies the management and administrative problems for an organization’s IT team.
IT must customize security, specific to a different OS (Android, iOS, Windows etc.). This becomes more complex when the device integrity has been compromised by jailbreaking, rooting, or unlocking. These procedures remove vendors’ restrictions and make these devices more vulnerable.
a. IT will have to start afresh with the registration and security installation cycle.
b. A previous device might have to be removed from the allowed device list and corporate data shall have to be wiped.
c. If the new device goes untracked (not registered) it will open a Pandora’s box exposing the organization to various security risks.
If an employee or the organization is involved in a legal issue, an employee device may be subject to discovery in the context of litigation. Key issues that can arise during the litigation process are:
Many companies adopt BYOD management without effective security policies in place. Lack of a well-defined, robust policy is a ticking time-bomb which can jeopardize an enterprise’s assets.
An ideal policy is a balance of efficiency, flexibility, and sound security measures, which clearly addresses all possible BYOD risks, countermeasures, and how the organization will deal with non-compliance.
Though it is easier to exert control over company-owned devices, BYOD offers agility and helps you leverage the full power of mobile devices. An enterprise should evaluate and analyze associated BYOD risks against prospective gains before implementing BYOD at the workplace.
Bringing into the picture a potent MDM solution for BYOD will help you find a middle ground and Scalefusion can offer a perfect solution in this matter.
Vandita is a passionate writer and IT enthusiast. By profession, she is a Computer Lecturer at the University of Delhi and has previously worked as a Software Engineer with Aricent Technologies.