Are you able to access your computer network at work with your personal iPad? What about your personal iPhone or your laptop computer? This movement, known as bring-your-own-device or BYOD, is on the rise in the workplace. It’s a wise idea: When companies encourage employees to bring their own devices to the office, these same businesses don’t have to spend as much on desktop computers and other high-tech equipment. The move also is practical for workers. Employees are often more familiar with their own devices. And if they bring their personal laptops and tablets to work, they can more easily transport their files, email messages and important documents back and forth from home to work.
The Risks of BYOD
All of that sounds great but there are a few risks in adopting a BYOD work environment that should not be overlooked. A writer for ComputerWorld recently wrote a column discussing this. For one, increasing the number of devices that are connected to a network raises the risk of malware attacks. Companies can install anti-virus software on devices they own, but it is difficult to manage the safety measures employees are taking using their personal devices.
Company Information at Risk
At the same time, when employees load delicate workplace data onto their mobile devices, companies face a wholly new set of concerns. What if employees lose their mobile devices? There’s no guarantee that sensitive information won’t fall into the wrong hands. Delaney writes that companies must properly educate their employees on how to use their mobile devices as safely as possible. Some companies might choose to ban outside devices from their networks. That’s not entirely realistic, though. Outside mobile devices help employees do more work more efficiently. Companies do not want to limit the production of employees by refusing them accessibility to the network with these devices.
The BYOD Trend
As more and more people have tablets and smartphones, it is likely that more organizations will face this decision. The greatest benefit to allowing employees to use personal devices is the rise in productivity. This is due mostly to the fact that they know their devices and they always have them. If BYOD seems like it will work for your company, just be sure your employees take appropriate measures with their devices to keep your company’s data safe.