Getting on Board with BYOD

March 20th, 2013 by JBWK

Soaring personal smartphone and tablet use has created a quandary for some human resources departments: when, and under what circumstances, should the company embrace a bring your own device–or BYOD–approach to connectivity.

BYOD

The benefits are obvious. An employee using his or her personal device saves the company money (by not having to provide a phone, laptop, etc.), lets employees choose their own phones, tablets, or laptops, and keeps employees, clients, and business partners in constant communication. With employees often picking up the latest technology on their own, why not use that to your advantage?

But it can’t be all good, all the time. BYOD policies can create some critical weaknesses if not properly managed. For starters, any company information stored on a personal device will have to be segregated and returned if the employee quits or is fired. That means someone will have to snoop through the (now former) employee’s personal phone or tablet to retrieve confidential or proprietary information–or risk the employee keeping it.

Losing control over your employee’s devices could also cause a security headache. If your IT department can’t properly secure the employee’s personal device or its information, you risk a data breach or intrusion into your company’s network.

But with good policies, proactive security, and clear expectations, employers should be able to mitigate most of these risks. Because, let’s face it: it’s happening whether you like it or not.

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