BYOD: Bring Your Own Device

Employees often have preferences as to the types of devices they want to use. As an employer, your instinct may be to provide all employees with the same technology – typically a workhorse of a computer, either desktop or laptop, and a basic mobile phone if the company provides one. But, every employee has different likes and needs. One may want a speedy laptop with a high-end graphics card so they can game on the same computer, another might prefer to keep it simple and portable by working on a tablet. Some may come to an office meeting with a legal pad while others may like to take notes on a mobile device.

 

BYOD Pros and Cons

When employees can bring their own devices (BYOD) to the office, they can experience increased productivity and job satisfaction. They may be able to upgrade to the latest technology more easily than you can as a company because rolling out a companywide update is much more involved than trading in a personal mobile device. The disadvantage is that it’s harder to know if personal devices are fully secured and protected. How are you supposed to deal with cybersecurity when you have no idea what your employees may have in their pocket or tote?

 

Control BYOD

Establish a policy for what technology is permitted and how it may be used. Is it allowed to be used in the building, but not for official company business? For example, is taking notes on a tablet permitted while downloading a customer list onto a personal laptop forbidden? Will you require employees using their own technology to provide proof that it’s properly secure?

 

Forbid BYOD

For some companies, the high level of security required makes it impossible to permit employee-owned technology onto their property. In this case, require employees to leave phones, laptops, tablets, etc. At home or in their cars. You can also provide lockers or other secure areas for people to store their phones for the duration of their shifts.

 

Find a Middle Ground

Consider the consequences and the reality of today’s workplace. Office walls are melting away. For many companies, it’s as likely that an employee is working on their couch, in a coffee shop, or on the beach as it is they are sitting in a cube at the office. In many cases, that means an increase in productivity, while potentially leaving your business vulnerable to security issues.

 

If you would like to learn more about keeping people, property, data, and networks secure, contact the experts at BOS Security.

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